Guilty if charged

As I noted in my last post, for a husband to be acused of abuse, even with far fetched charges, is to be considered guilty of those charges.  The Christian media’s reaction to Pastor Abedini’s wife accusing him of (among other things) sexually abusing her by looking at pornography and abusing her from inside an Iranian prison cell demonstrate this truth.

Religion News Network’s headline reads: Why imprisoned pastor’s wife kept her marital abuse a secret — until now.  Having convicted Pastor Abedini in the headline, the RNN article presents Episcopal priest Justin Holcomb as an expert on the subject of Christian abuse.  Holcomb explains that women rarely make false charges of abuse (emphasis mine):

[Holcomb] cites research that indicates one in four women will experience abuse in an “intimate partner relationship.” Holcomb advises pastors to talk more openly about domestic abuse, be accessible to abuse survivors, and collaborate with social agencies and law enforcement.

Abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes, he said. “It is extremely unusual for someone to lie about these kinds of claims.”

This would of course be startling news to anyone involved with the family courts, where it is an open secret that women use domestic violence accusations to give them a powerful strategic advantage.  As divorce attorney Gregory S. Forman explains in Five Ways to Get a Spouse Out of the House:

Since Domestic Abuse orders are quick and efficient methods for getting a spouse out of the house, they are subject to abuse. Spouses will often attempt to prompt or instigate fights in order to call the police and set up domestic abuse proceedings.  Since much domestic abuse becomes a “he said/she said” swearing contest, it is important to protect a client from false allegations of domestic abuse.

Charismanews writes in Naghmeh Abedini Claims Abuse, Halts Public Support for Imprisoned Husband Saeed (emphasis original):

So, many of us are involved here in a way that perhaps we often are not. So it’s worth our consideration about how we respond.

Second, we have to ask, what do we do now?

I think that there are five things we need to do in this situation.

1. We need to care about the accusations and the situation. It matters that a wife has spoken up. We should take seriously any accusations from those who speak up about abuse. Therefore, we are hurting with Naghmeh in this moment.

However, even though he is presumed guilty, we should of course still want to see him released:

2. We still need to care about religious liberty, and Pastor Saeed still needs to be freed. Yes, regardless of what happens going forward, his image is now “tarnished.” He, like all of us, has always been flawed. And no person, regardless of his or her flaws, should be imprisoned for sharing his or her faith.

Shattered Magazine picks up the same theme in Pastor Saeed Abedini Isn’t Perfect, Naghmeh Says, But We Still Pray (emphasis original):

Now, though Naghmeh asks supporters to continue praying for Saeed and his release, she will take time away from the public eye to heal from abuse and marital conflict.

Should We Still Pray For Saeed?

It’s a question that brings Christians to a “What now?” stand off. Saeed Abedini, a pastor we’ve highly regarded for his bravery and unswerving faith in the face of intense persecution, isn’t as perfect as we once thought. Do we reject Saeed because of his moral failure? Or do we continue to support Saeed, a Christian imprisoned for his faith, through prayer and advocacy?

In our disappointment in Saeed and sadness for Naghmeh, it would be easy (and tempting) to forget about Pastor Saeed because of his indiscretions, deeming him unworthy of our support. But we would be forgetting one important thing: Nobody is perfect.

All of this is a harbinger of what we can expect moving forward.  Pastor Saeed is presumed guilty of absurd charges, even though he isn’t able to effectively respond to the charges.  Further advocacy for his release will therefore mostly be “private” (following Naghmeh’s lead), and those media articles which do discuss his imprisonment will need to focus at least 25% of their copy on the importance of always believing women and the need for pastors to preach on the imminent threat every Christian husband poses to his helpless wife.  Another 25% or more of the copy will need to be dedicated to questioning if/why we should advocate for such a man to be freed, with the obligatory final decision that yes, we should, because even though he is a wife abuser we still love him.

Posted in Attacking headship, Domestic Violence, Pastor Abedini | 63 Comments

The temptation for wives to claim abuse.

In our age claiming abuse is a powerful tool for wives to punish their husbands.  This creates a profound temptation for wives to betray their husbands for any or no reason.  Everything is abuse, and for a husband to be accused of abuse is to be considered guilty of abuse.  This temptation is most powerful when families are already under strain.

We can see a disturbing example of this in the recent article from Christianity Today: Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse.  Pastor Abedini is serving an eight year prison sentence in Iran for spreading the gospel.  In a Washington Post op-ed piece on October 23rd, Pastor Abedini’s wife  wrote of the abuse her husband faces in the Iranian prison:

Since the nuclear deal in the summer, it is not only more difficult to maintain hope, but the reality of my husband’s situation has grown worse. He remains in grave danger and in need of medical treatment.

Even as President Rouhani was preparing to address the United Nations in New York last month, Saeed was being beaten and interrogated by Iranian guards in prison.

But as the Christianity Today article explains, shortly after writing the op-ed piece sent a series of messages to a mailing list of Pastor Abedini’s supporters accusing him of abusing her and announcing that she was halting her public efforts to have him released from prison (emphasis mine):

In two emails to supporters, [] revealed details of her troubled marriage to Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and pastor imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.

Those troubles include “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography),” she wrote. The abuse started early in their marriage and has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said. The two are able to speak by phone and Skype.

Touring the country to advocate for Saeed’s release while coping with marital conflict proved too much, she wrote.

Christianity Today reported ‘s accusations against Pastor Abedini without challenge;  to be accused is to be guilty in the eyes of most.  Moreover, everything is abuse.  Naghmeh’s claim that her husband sexually abused her by looking at pornography is in line with modern Christian thought.  Focus on the Family endorsed Life Skills International defines “looks at pornography” as sexual abuse in their Power and Control Wheel.

However, even if you accept that looking at pornography is sexual abuse, surely Pastor Abedini isn’t being provided with pornography in the Iranian prison.  Yet made this accusation to his supporters after he had already been in prison for over three years, and claimed that the abuse had gotten worse after he was imprisoned.  Likewise, his only contact with Naghmeh has been through phone and skype, so he can’t possibly be physically abusing her from prison either.  This leaves the one possible remaining charge, that he has been emotionally and psychologically abusive since he has been in prison.  While it is certainly possible that he has said unkind things to his wife while enduring prison and torture, surely Pastor Abedini can’t pose a threat to his wife from an Iranian jail cell.  Any way you look at it, it is clear that this isn’t about protecting herself or her children, but about humiliating her husband.  ‘s claim is that her reason for broadcasting these things is “to be real”, and to help her husband (emphasis mine):

It is very serious stuff and I cannot live a lie anymore

But that does not mean he has not been battling with his own demons which I am believing that he can be freed of…

I wanted to be real and ask you to pray for real things (I have opened myself up to you), but without judgment and without losing your love for your brother Saeed who is fighting for his life in the dark prison. This is what the Lord has been showing me, to love unconditionally the way He loves us. To see the sin, but love the sinner and to intercede for freedom from the sin. And not to give up. Not to ever give up on your loved one. To persevere and to endure.

None of the obvious problems with Naghmeh’s public accusations against her husband are brought up by Christianity Today.  They present the allegations without challenge, even though he can’t possibly be sexually or physically abusing her from prison. The article opens with:

For the past three years Naghmeh Abedini has publicly battled her husband’s captors, advocating for his release from an Iranian jail.

Behind the scenes, she also struggled with his inner demons.

No matter how absurd the claim, the husband is presumed guilty merely by being accused.  This is true even in an extraordinary situation like Pastor Abedini is in.

Pastor Abedini isn’t in a position to defend himself, and the woman he trusted to fight on his behalf is the one who has publicly attacked him.  Along with his faith in God, knowing that his family and other Christians were supporting him has to have given him a source of strength while his captors have tormented him over the years.  Knowing that he has been betrayed in this way must now make the torment all the more difficult to bear.

However, as bad as the situation is there is still a chance for Naghmeh to repent.  She appears to at least partially understand the magnitude of what she did:

In a statement to Christianity Today, Abedini said she regretted sending the emails, which were written in a time of emotional distress.

This is a first step, but repentance would require truly turning away from this ugliness.  Clearly she was in a position of emotional weakness, and the ever present temptation to punish her husband by claiming abuse was something she was not able to resist.  If she confesses this, she can not only begin to right the wrong she has done to her husband, but she can also help modern Christians understand the cruelty of offering this temptation in the first place.  There is no kindness in encouraging wives who are in pain to lash out to punish their husbands the way we do.

Posted in Christianity Today, Domestic Violence, Dr. Paul Hegstrom, Duluth Model, Focus on the Family, Rebellion, Wake-up call | 401 Comments

OT: National Ammo Day

Instapundit is reminding readers that today is National Ammo Day.  Instapundit also noted yesterday that Obama is suggesting that he will spend his last year in office focused on gun control.

Should you feel the desire to celebrate National Ammo Day by purchasing ammunition (in compliance with all applicable laws of course), you might be interested in the special offer SG Ammo has for Blazer Brass ammunition.  If you buy 1000 rounds of .45 ACP it is only 26 cents a round, and if you buy boxes of 50 (same ammo) it is only 28 cents a round.  Still a good deal but closer to common pricing is the Blazer Brass 9mm at the same site.  A 1000 round case is 19 cents a round, and a 50 round box is 20 cents a round.

Either prices are about to drop quite a bit across the board, or SG Ammo picked up the Blazer Brass on a special buy because the .45 especially is quite a bit cheaper than everything else. This is American made FMJ brass selling for less than Russian steel cased* ammunition or even most reloads.  As a single point of reference, Lucky Gunner has the same Blazer Brass .45 for an extra $60 a case, and even then it is the third cheapest .45 Lucky Gunner has available.

Related: OT: Ammunition is (mostly) cheap and plentiful again.

*With potentially a bimetal jacket which isn’t permitted in many indoor ranges.

Posted in Instapundit | 43 Comments

What about the fathers?

Last year Kathryn Edin wrote in The Shriver Report about low income single fathers, in a piece titled What About the Fathers? She thought she knew all about these men, having spent years speaking to single mothers.  But talking to the fathers themselves was a shocking revelation (emphasis mine):

…I had spent years living and talking with black, white, and Hispanic single mothers in some of the nation’s toughest urban neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Chicago, the deep South, and the West Coast—10 cities in all. I thought I had learned everything there was to know about these men from the moms. Besides, didn’t everyone know the guys were irresponsible? That they really didn’t care about the kids they conceived? In 2008, even presidential candidate Barack Obama was calling them out, saying they had better stop acting like boys and have the courage to raise a child not just create one.

Finally, fellow researcher Tim Nelson and I began actually talking to these men—more than 100 low-income noncustodial dads living in poor neighborhoods in the Philadelphia area. As it turns out, “everyone” wasn’t right. We were all dead wrong—me, the country, and even Barack Obama.

Edin explains that the pregnancies she studied very often were due to the decision by the mother to forgo birth control without the knowledge of the father, because motherhood will gain her status:

Pretty soon, the women are skipping doses of the pill or letting the patch or other forms of contraception lapse. Why? In these communities, motherhood often exerts a strong pull on young women’s hearts and minds and weakens their motivation to avoid pregnancy. Being a mom serves as the chief source of meaning and identity in neighborhoods where significant upward mobility is rare.

Then once the baby is born, the mothers have strong incentives to eject the father from the family, replacing him with what ultimately turns into a parade of men:

When a single mom in the inner city feels her kid’s father has failed to provide, there is an enormous temptation to “swap daddies,” pushing the child’s dad aside while allowing a new man—perhaps one with a little more going for him economically—to claim the title of father. These moms are often desperate to find a man who can help with the bills so they can keep a roof over their kid’s head. The problem is that these new relationships may be no more stable than the old ones.

When a mom moves from one relationship to another—playing gatekeeper with the biological father while putting her new boyfriend into the dad’s role—she puts her kids on a “father-go-round.”

Edin is describing the very double think I’ve been discussing here and here.  It is overall a surprisingly good article, especially coming from a feminist organization.  Edin recognizes that it is the mothers who are the ones who decide the structure of the family and if the father is to be involved beyond just a paycheck.

If they want to stop the father-go-round, moms will have to do what they can to keep the biological dad involved with his child and not push him aside. It’s up to them, because currently, mothers have most of the power de facto, if not de jure.

While the mothers eject the fathers to invite in a parade of new men, the rejected fathers end up repeatedly trying to create new families with other women, hoping they eventually will be permitted to stay:

Meanwhile, the biological fathers themselves end up on a family-go-round, having kids by other women in a quest to try to get what they long for—the whole father experience. Each new child with a different mom offers another chance—a clean slate. With eagerness, they once again invest every resource they can muster in service of that new fragile family.

However, Edin fails to realize the need for true commitment if we are going to stop the immense suffering of so many poor (not to mention middle class) children.  Our elites have created a new family structure which is a disaster for all but the top quarter of the socioeconomic scale, but the UMC refuses to recognize the immense pain this selfish change is wreaking.  Her suggestion to poor men is to make sure they have a high income and their relationship with the mother is “on a solid footing” before having children, in order to reduce the likelihood that she will become unhappy and expel him from the family:

Here is my message to young disadvantaged men: If you really want to be a good dad, wait until you are financially ready to have a child, preferably your mid-to-late 20s, if not beyond. Make sure your relationship with the child’s mother is on a solid footing first.

See Also:

Posted in Child Custody, Child Support, Doublethink, Fatherhood, Feral Females, Illegitimacy, New Morality, Turning a blind eye, Weak men screwing feminism up | 219 Comments

Our slow drift away from marriage.

Johnycomelately asks:

I’m just wondering what will happen when the clock chimes and men collectively realise the game has changed and that ‘marriage’ really is just a temporary enterprise.

Will that ever happen or will the fem collective continue to maintain the wool over the eyes of men?

What will marriage 3.0 look like?

I don’t think it will happen that way. What I think we will see, and what we can already see, is a slow drift of the culture away from marriage. All of these people I’m quoting, from FotF to the new age marriage counselor are very loudly explaining that marriage has no moral meaning. This isn’t a new message, although the volume and intensity does seem to have increased over the last few decades. This along with the corresponding message that married men and fathers are at best buffoons not to be respected, and at worst more despicable than murders and rapists is having a natural impact. Add to this an ever increasing age at which women start to marry. All of this together, the church, the law, the culture, etc are teaching young men that marriage and fatherhood is for fools and knaves, or at the very least irrelevant and not worth preparing for.

Over time this has and will continue to erode young men’s perceptions of marriage as well as their desire to signal provider status. We already see this in the surveys of Millennials where marriage is less important, as is having children. For Millennial women this change is happening due to feminist messages of empowerment, but for men it is happening for the reasons we are discussing. The part that should frighten policy makers is the very inertia that made it seem like we could gut marriage and still have it work is going to work against us on the other side. You won’t be negotiating with an individual man or even a band of men “on strike”, but with a culture. And even worse, by the time women want to marry at 30ish, a large portion of the men they are looking to as husbands and providers will have coasted for a decade or more. These “Peter Pan” men can’t go back and dedicate their teens and twenties to education and career advancement any more than their would be brides can go back and undo the ravages of time, their student loan/cc debt, and a decade and a half of slutting around before looking for a husband.

Posted in Patriarchal Dividend, Replacing Marriage, Weak men screwing feminism up | 268 Comments