Monday, August 22, 2005

Press: [This] marriage might be doomed

(via Religion News Blog)

(It's never about being in the right, it's always about being in control.)

Marriage might be doomed
By the God Squad
The Buffalo News
August 20, 2005

Q: My husband has gotten involved with an independent fundamentalist church where the women are not allowed to speak in church. Women must obey their husbands without question. They must wear dresses at all times, and you cannot read any bible other than the King James Version. I was brought up in a First Baptist church where you were not forced to wear dresses and where the New International Version is at times quoted or read from to clarify points in the King James Version. This is seen by my husband as a perverse version of the bible, and he can't stand that the children and I go to this church.

He said he was leaving if I did not obey him. My youngest daughter asked him if he was leaving, and he said he had decided to stay and make me so miserable that I would leave. He would go days without speaking to any of us and many times not come home until 1 a.m. His obsession has made him turn from us completely. I finally asked him to leave. The people he is around compliment him for his behavior and tell him that God would bless him for being so dedicated to the lord that he would give up his family to serve him. I have asked him to go to counseling with me, but he says he doesn't need it.

A: When professional baseball players take steroids, it makes baseball look bad. When business executives steal money from their companies, it makes all business look bad. And when churches divide families like the church your husband has chosen, it makes all organized religion look bad.

Whatever your husband or your husband's minister might say, this is not authentic Christianity. Christianity does not teach that women must be slaves to their husbands. Christianity does not teach husbands to be abusive to those they should love and respect. We have seen many people who were depressed and angry, lonely and adrift, find their way to cults or fringe religious groups that reinforce their paranoia and further isolate them from their families. The cults know that their greatest threat is the love their new members have for their families. So they try to get these sad, impressionable people to believe that the people who most love them actually are the ones who most hate them.

If your child had come into the grips of a cult-like church, we would encourage you to make an intervention and get her deprogrammed. But this is your husband, and such an action is impossible. What you need to think about is whether the pain of separating from your husband is greater than the pain of living with him. Only you can answer this question.

Monsignor Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman will try to answer your religious, personal or ethical questions. Contact the God Squad,


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