losing my religion

Dear Conservatives: Do Better.

I’m disgusted…

I’ve been thinking that I ought to get back into my blogging groove for a while. Over the weekend, I started organizing a list of topics. My days were set. (Sorry I’m late. 😉 ) The first thing I wanted to share with you was my take on an article I’d found via a link on Christianity Today’s website. The topic? Child abuse.

I’ll get to it later, though. Earlier today, I began to watch this interview featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

In case you’ve decided not to watch, Mr. and Mrs. Duggar were being questioned by Megyn Kelly about their son Josh’s abuse of their daughters. I’ll admit it: My viewing experience didn’t last very long. Almost immediately after I pressed “play” on that video, my shoulders tensed up. As I listened to Ms. Kelly’s questions and the Duggars’ replies, something didn’t seem right to me.

For now, I’ll spare you my thoughts on that “something”. Instead, I’ll talk about the point when I decided I’d had enough.

Around almost 7 minutes into the interview, Megyn asked Mr. and Mrs Duggar if they’d considered turning their son in to the authorities.

Cut to Jim Bob’s answer.

“As parents, you are not mandatory reporters.”

I couldn’t go on much further after that.

Mr. Duggar believes that parents are “not mandatory reporters” of abuse. He does not think that they should feel obligated to tell the police if their children have been abused. Needless to say, Mr. Duggar’s words left me feeling a mix of disgust and worry. There are already countless abusers in the general population. Along with them are parents who either know about instances of abuse, or suspect it. How many of them will watch Jim Bob, hear what he says, and fail to protect their children because they don’t believe that they’re obligated to do so? How many are already doing nothing, and now feel justified by his claims about the law?

More importantly, what do conservative Christians–and even as I say that, some conservative Christians, because I can’t believe that all of them are that ignorant–have against doing the right thing?

The article I mentioned earlier disturbed me for one simple reason. (Feel free to read it here. Note that it was published before the Duggars’ interview, yet its content supports their line of thinking.) In spite of its seemingly neutral wording the only thing I understood was that it perpetuated a very harmful message.

If you don’t want to report abuse, remember that there are states where you can get away with keeping quiet.

I want to know: Where does this need to protect abusers come from?

Abuse victims deserve more than what some folks are willing to give in terms of integrity and justice. I can’t tell you how sad it is to me that in instances of abuse, certain Christians forget that

…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God…

(From 1 Corinthians 6: 19)

Every human body is sacred. It’s hard for me not to notice how quickly some remember that when complaining about a host of supposed worldly evils. Yet when it comes to protecting abuse victims, suddenly, they can’t be bothered.