Link Dump – Virginity in Venezuela, Christian Sex Hang Ups and Gender Hang Ups – other Links

Link Dump – Virginity in Venezuela, Christian Sex Hang Ups

Link 1. From Christian Post:
(Link 1): How Do You Know If You Were Supposed to Marry Your Spouse?

Link 2. Yeah, good luck with that – I’ve already given up on the “virginity until marriage” propaganda spewed out by Christians.

(Link 2): 5,000 Venezuelan Youths Attend Luis Palau Fest; Thousands Commit to Sexual Purity

    By Jessica Martinez , CP Contributor
    July 11, 2013

    Some 45,000 people attended a youth festival hosted by evangelist Luis Palau in Venezuela last weekend, with thousands committing to sexual purity until marriage during the event.

    Festival goers descended upon the bicentennial fairgrounds of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, for Juventud Libre 2013, where Palau preached about faith and change under the theme, “Venezuela, open your heart to hope.” The event focused on offering an optimistic outlook for the nation’s future in light of its current political and social unrest, which caused 4,000 youths to dedicate their lives to God while the crowd chanted “yes to sexual purity.”

Link 3 discusses:

Churches depicting women (even married ones, so that’s a refreshing change of pace, usually it’s the singles) as sexual temptresses, and, in another rarity, one church instructs males to keep their shirts buttoned up (usually it’s the females who get the insipid “modesty” lectures), and sexual hang-ups by various churches are addressed.

I don’t condone abuse or neglect of women or children, but, I do have to commend this one Christian cult for at least pointing out that motherhood has been made into an idol by some Christians; they are at least right on that score.

(Link 3): Spiritual Abuse in Churches From book about Church abuse; author made the whole book available for free online.

    Chapter 7

    …Women of C-U ministries were totally submissive to males and were barred from leadership or decision-making roles, as well as from work outside the home. Pam says that, “It got to the point where what I had to say usually got suppressed because I knew it was a waste of time to discuss it. I’d lose.”

    …Unfortunately, the harshness of the discipline extended to the children as well. Pam says, “I could cry over some of the spankings they received. Bruised bottoms. They were even calloused.”

    … In December of 1987, ten-year-old Aaron Norman died as result of medical neglect and a beating administered by his father and Doug Kleber. The boy suffered from juvenile diabetes but his parents did not obtain medical care for him, preferring to rely on the healing power of prayer.

    When his physical condition worsened and prayer did not seem to be effective, elders of the church were consulted to determine what the problem was.

    According to a story in the June 21, 1988 issue of the Chicago Tribune, the elders determined that Aaron had sinned. The sin was masturbation, but Aaron would not confess to the sin.

    His father decided to spank Aaron with a board because the Holy Spirit had told him that he had been masturbating. As the Spokane County deputy prosecutor stated, “His father and the elders ‘rebuked’ Aaron to confess, but he wouldn’t. Aaron’s father and Kleber then beat the child . . . A wooden paddle was used at some point until Aaron confessed. On Sunday morning when his parents awoke, Aaron was dead. There were severe bruises on his buttocks.”

    [Regarding another wacko church:]

    …Like many other abusive churches, the Two-by-Two’s impose a restrictive and rigorous life-style on the membership. Women adherents shun makeup and wear long, uncut hair wrapped tightly in buns on the tops of their heads. Jewelry is proscribed, while plain dresses are the norm. Slacks, shorts, and sleeveless blouses are forbidden in public.

    They submit to the men of the group who tend to wear dark-colored clothes and carry black-covered King James Versions of the Bible. Marriages are performed by civil authorities only, since church “workers” do not register with state officials.

    Conformity to a strict life-style is expected of all children and young people in the Truth. They are discouraged from participating in after-school sports and other social activities. Their circle of friends does not extend beyond the group.

    They often grow up ignorant and unaware of current affairs around them. One woman remembers taking her young son to the doctor who was astonished that the boy knew nothing about Big Bird or other Sesame Street characters. Another woman relates that her son’s kindergarten teacher was shocked that he hadn’t ever heard of Easter . . . [most Two-by-Two’s do not observe Christmas or Easter]. This lack of awareness, culturally, religiously, politically, and socially, severely stunts their perceptions of the world around them . . . Emotional withdrawal and social isolation are typical responses among children in the Truth which are carried forward into adulthood.

    Life-style rigidity in abusive churches often manifests itself in a curiously reactive mode with regard to sexuality. Proscriptive measures reveal a sometimes bizarre preoccupation with sex that mental-health professionals would no doubt conclude gives evidence of repression.

    For example, an ex-member of Faith Tabernacle, a now defunct California church pastored by Eleanor Daries,5 was told she had to give up playing the cello because of the “sexual positioning” required to play the instrument.

    Members of the University Bible Fellowship (UBF) were urged to repent of their sinful desires and cut off their relationships with boyfriends and girlfriends. Those who dated were called “wolfy men” or “foxy women” and were considered to be full of “flesh desires.”

    Another authoritarian group provides written guidelines for male/female behavior in church: “Limit physical contact in church to hand-holding. Snuggling, cuddling, laying the head on his shoulder, if longer than a second or so, is not appropriate. Excessive massaging of one another is not appropriate.”

    The women of Community Chapel, in printed instructions dated September 1978 and titled, “Perspectives on Dress Conduct,” were given detailed guidelines about underwear, fingernails, and make-up. Under the heading, “Breasts,” we read: “No exposure of cleavage showing. Examine what is exposed when bending over; nothing should be seen. Consider also exposure when sitting and swinging around. Small-chested gals need to be extra careful.” Under the entry on fingernails: “Color should be subtle and natural, not deep, bright, or unusual colors.” Women of Community Chapel were instructed to “let the Pastor take the initiative to hug, but feel free to hug him if there is a great, proper need.” In view of what transpired in that particular church a few years later, these kinds of “guidelines” appear now to be rather tame.

    In that same church, Community Chapel, the pastor at one point included these specific regulations in the Sunday bulletin: “Remember our rule: All women who show up at the church offices should be dressed femininely, and if they are wearing slacks, those slacks should be definitely feminine, complemented by feminine tops and feminine shoes . . .

    Please respect the right of your shepherd to guide you into more appropriate, conservative, and feminine dress.”

    Men of the church were not overlooked. The church bookstore sold a pamphlet entitled, “Jesus Had Short Hair!” The bulletin advised males to “avoid low cut and unbuttoned shirts, jeans, beards, unkempt hair, long fancy sideburns, and frizzy hair.” Neither sex could wear amulets or crosses.

    Chapter 8.

    MaryAnn’s [Christian women who was member of abusive church] experiences were even more traumatic than Paul’s [her spouse].

    Having been accused of being in league with the “evil spirit of Jezebel that controls every woman unless she is submitted to the spirit of God in her husband,” MaryAnn was isolated from Paul and the children.

    She was dressed in “sackcloth and ashes” by Mitchell, called a seductress and a temptress, not allowed to bathe, forced to do heavy physical activity in the desert sun, and forced to confess that she had lustful desires for all the men and boys, including her own son. She was also accused of having a “spirit of motherhood.” This meant that she “idolized” her children and focused too much attention on them.

    …. She [Carolyn, member of a different Christian cult/ church] was forced to clean the floor of Hyde’s very dirty trailer bathroom with her tongue because she, as a “spiritual wife,” had committed “spiritual adultery” in her relationship with Ed. “I didn’t want to go to hell,” she explained.