Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saddleback and Mysogeny: Go Together Like A Horse and Carriage

"Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. I was told by mother, you can't have one without the other."

No, I'm not into 50s doggerel music. But some other people believe in those lyrics - waaaay too much. I had heard stories similar to the one featured here, but I had never heard it applied to the Saddleback church and Rick Warren. Yes, he's a inerrantist and Christofascist, but his framing of marriage is almost as bad as his fake love of gays.

From DoubleX:

Does Rick Warren’s Church Condone Domestic Violence?
Sheri Ferber is a petite strawberry-blonde with a pretty, round-cheeked face, and a voice that sometimes sounds hesitant. Four years ago, she approached a Saddleback pastor for protection against her husband, who’d violently attacked her while they were driving home from church. Instead of protecting her, Ferber says, the pastor [Tom Holladay] called her husband to warn him that Ferber had been “gossiping about their marriage.”
Yeah, the pastor ratted on her. When he was confronted with the situation by the media, his response was typical Saddleback Warrenesque back-peddling:

"It’s not like you can escape the pain,” he said, since the “short-term solution” of divorce leaves the “long-term pain” of a failed marriage. Holladay further qualified that domestic abuse meant regular beatings, not simply a spouse who “grabbed you once.”
So it's O.K. to get a divorce if you could prove that he knocked the crap out of you on a daily basis. Since Saddleback, as most Southern Baptist Churches, does not really allow for divorce on the basis of domestic violence, you wonder just how many women in Pastor Rick's ministry are declaring bruises to be household accidents.

And what about Kay Warren? While she certainly looks like a woman who can defend herself, both physically and emotionally, she too is bound by the strict rule of patriarchal authority. Or is Warren, like so many men bound to Fundamentalist rules worried about his ego, but really, inside, is a wuss? What ever Warren's true stance on the matter of domestic violence, his church has certainly shown exemplary forgiveness:
For four years, Ferber pled her case with various Saddleback staffers. But “every door that would seem to open would slam shut.”. Eventually, she left Orange County, but hears from former church fellows that her ex-husband is now an official worship leader.

Saddleback is now launching a revamped 30-week domestic violence program for victims. Saddleback’s new policy is to advise unilateral legal separation in any unsafe spousal abuse cases and police intervention, so that, Baker says, “victims [are put] in the position where they have to get help.” Marriage counseling is no longer the first option, and a program for abusers is anticipated by year’s end.

Notice the word "revamped". Evidently the first program didn't quite work out. Anyway, it comes too late for Sheri Ferber. I wonder how Warren is backpedaling on this one. "Why, I have many friends who are battered wives. They've had me over to dinner. I've met with their leaders."

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