From Janet Heimlich’s Religious Child Maltreatment website, a post about the abuse of forgiveness.
But the practice of forgiveness can be abused, and nowhere is this more apparent than in cases of religious child maltreatment. All too often, pious adults who learn that a child has been abused fail to do the right thing. That is, instead of reporting the incident or getting the victim counseling, they urge the child to forgive the perpetrator.
I did a post on this subject more than six years ago, about the Amish, via this article.
It is sinful for the Amish to withhold forgiveness—so sinful that anyone who refers to a past misdeed after the Amish penalty for it has ended can be punished in the same manner as the original sinner. “That’s a big thing in the Amish community,” Mary said. “You have to forgive and forgive.”
That horrible trap has stuck in my mind in a way that few things do.
More about life among the Amish.
What were the bad parts?
-The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community
-Physical and verbal abuse in the name of discipline
-Women (and children) have no rights
-Religion–and all its associated fear and brainwashing–as a means of control (and an extremely effective means at that)
Oh. Adds up, doesn’t it. And she hasn’t yet even gotten to the part about education.
I loved learning, and cried when I couldn’t go back to school the fall after graduating from Amish 8th grade. The Amish do not send their children to formal schooling past 8th grade. A Supreme Court case prevented forcing Amish children into high school on grounds of religious freedom. I knew that, by US law, I wasn’t considered an adult until eighteen. I didn’t want to wait until then to go to high school.
For four years, I tried to come up with a way that I could leave before turning eighteen without my parents being able to take me back, so I could go to school.
Well done US Supreme Court – you made it impossible for that girl to go to school, by granting her “community” the right to take her out without granting her any right to say no thank you.
And there’s Chuck Phelps at that mad Baptist cult-church in New Hampshire.
A woman says she was sexually assaulted as a teen and that the pastor of her church told her to forgive and forget instead of doing what the law required: report it to authorities.
The woman’s allegation surfaced after a recent trial during which a prosecutor suggested the same pastor, the Rev. Chuck Phelps, didn’t do enough to help a rape victim.
That’s Tina Anderson, whom we read about a few days ago.
Too much forgiveness and not nearly enough accountability.
(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)