I want to clear the air about a couple of issues concerning my blog and it's purpose. My blog is probably an equal-opportunity offender, touching on extremely controversial subjects within the Christian community. When you deal with polarizing issues, there's often a natural vacuum in the passionate positions taken where intent or message can be inferred.
I have no problem with homeschooling. My problem is with indoctrination via homeschooling which promotes patriarchy, quiverfull, courtship, and the like as "biblical", when the bible says nothing about patriarchy other than mentioning an era where, devoid of centralized governments, tribal clans based on Hurrian, Sumerian, and Chaldean cultures were the norm, the bible doesn't teach quiverfull as the only method God approves but mentions the idea metaphorically and almost in passing, and the bible says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the courtship model. My problem is in young women being indoctrinated to believe they need to remain under their father's "protection", when the only thing I can see that the father is "protecting" the daughter from are beliefs other than patriarchy - which pose a threat to him, not her. If you're under 18, sure. Even the legal system would agree with that. But well into adulthood? Only the legalist system agrees with that. Don't believe me? The scripture often used to justify this belief is Numbers 30. It would burst the bubble of many patriarchs to recognize that in Jewish society, a girl was no longer "in her youth" upon reaching age 12. (Reference Here)
"...teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."
I have a problem with Christianity practiced with the form and vigor of communism. Sharing our resources, living selflessly, without greed, is biblical. Dropping an Iron Curtain over our families isn't. Relegating women to lesser, subservient roles is cultural. Even when it's biblical it's cultural, and demands the need for and use of discernment rather than literal, fundamental interpretation. Using children as a resource to promote the agenda of a father's own personal Kremlin in the culture war, viewing them as "property of the state", isn't biblical.
"...teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."
I have a problem with Christianity practiced with the same ritual, environmental and mental control, culturally fear-driven propaganda, works based purity and worthiness (despite the talk of faith and grace), and indoctrination of radical Islam. I have a problem with Christianity that places greater emphasis on the minutiae of superficial outward appearance than on the true heart and character of Christ. I have a problem with Christianity that values form over faith.
I don't have a problem with conservative politics. I'm a political conservative. I think Ronald Reagan is the father of our country. I have a problem with the elements of the Religious Right which confuse winning souls to Christ with winning the culture war and imposing our lifestyle on the unbelieving. I have a problem with the Religious Right equating giving rights to others as having rights stripped from themselves.
I have a problem with professing Christians pointing a finger at God and the bible and blaming all of this on Him and His word...when both are innocent of the charges.
Some may take issue with the emotion and passion with which I write. You're entitled to your opinion, but let me warn you, if my emotion has riled you to date, you may want to wear a seat belt for future visits, cause I don't see my emotional style changing. I've been through a very painful, emotionally traumatic experience. Writing without raw emotion is for me like eating a rice cake. It puts a little something in your stomach, but other than the bland aftertaste in your mouth, there's little evidence you've eaten anything.
When I read stories like this one at Razing Ruth...it makes my blood boil. It makes me want to pop. It brings back memories. Painful ones.
Just a couple of days before my ex-fiancee disappeared, she sent me a text which said the following...
"I love you so very much Mr. Wells! Seems all I want to do is sit and talk with you! It's just nice to know you're there."
Less than 24 hours later, she told someone she sought counsel from that I didn't respect her, that I was "ungentlemanly", and that she and I had communication problems. This person she was seeking counsel from wasn't a part of the patriarchal movement, and her grandfather, although not a full-blown patrio himself (still a hard-core fundie, though), feared the "division" in his family that counsel from this person would bring, so he spent the better part of a day prepping her, and giving the gameplan to others so they could prep her as well, and caused her to doubt the validity of her own feelings expressed less than 24 hours prior, creating an entirely new and false perception. If he could shade and slant the story she would tell this person, he could influence the counsel this person would give her. He did.
When she disappeared on the day she was to fly here permanently, being beaten to a pulp by the barrage of guilt-ridden and fear inducing calls and manipulation she'd been subject to in the final few days, she asked her grandfather to call me and ask me to "give her some time". He called alright...and told me to get lost. He told me it was over, that I had to let her go, that I was a savage and not much of a man to put her through what she was going through, and it was at his personal counsel that she didn't come. Only the last statement had any truth to it. Ironically, just three days prior the man had told me, "Lewis, I promise to do all within my power to have her on that plane. I'm not gonna interfere anymore."
Snake. Slithery, slimy snake. I feel like I need a shower just thinking about the man.
I haven't seen her or spoken privately to her since. There's always been someone on the line with her "protecting" her, telling her which questions she could answer and which she couldn't. The result? Maybe one out of ten questions would get answered, and the answers were quite obviously rehearsed and agreed upon talking points. It was like talking to a ghost. Very painful when you love a person. To this date, no closure whatsoever. It's like she was, and then suddenly she wasn't, and I'm supposed to erase the memories that she was. It's literally as if she died, yet still walks the earth with someone else inhabiting her being.
I had made so many financial commitments, toward our future and in sending money to her to support her as best I could in the interim prior to our ceremony, that I wasn't able to take even a couple of days off from my work to emotionally recover from her disappearance. I was touring with a major gospel music artist at the time, and had to take the stage roughly 4 nights a week. This artist had put the video of our engagement on their webpage several months earlier, and during this period, I was reaping the "rewards" of being a public figure. I was emotionally crushed and heart-broken to the point that I was physically ill, unable to eat anything, barely sleeping, desperately worried about her, where she was, if she was well, were they abusing her, and now, nightly, I had 15-20 or more total strangers walking up, slapping me on the back, and saying, "Congratulations, Lewis! I saw the video! That's awesome!" The first one happened probably 30 seconds after stepping off the tour bus at the very first venue. I was crushed anew every time, but I held it together outwardly. Much of it is a blur, but those congratulatory slaps on the back are pretty vivid memories.
Three weeks after her disappearance, she sent me an email, a freakin email, to tell me our relationship was over and she was breaking her commitment to me. I got it right as I was heading out the door to go meet the tour bus. Devastated doesn't begin to describe it. At the concert that night, about an hour prior to the start, I walked into the venue and headed to the merchandise table to perform my duties there, hadn't been there 10 seconds, and a sweet little lady walks up to me and says, "Lewis, your video just makes me cry. It's so beautiful! Congratulations to you both!" I broke down. I'd survived hundreds of these encounters with strangers, but couldn't survive this one.
This continued, repeatedly, at every concert, for several months before I left the road. "Congratulations, buddy!" Well meaning people delivering a fresh injection of heartbreak with each slap on the back.
Part of me wants to head west and go all "Walkin' Tall" on the whole bunch of em. Part of me wants them to know the pain and hurt they slimed into my life. All of me pities her, and all of me still loves her, despite moments of anger and resentment. One can only love as deeply as their capacity to feel pain. One can only feel pain as deeply as their capacity to love.
If you don't like my raw emotion, you may want to adapt to it or find another blog to read. I don't put a pretty, and phony, face on things that aren't pretty.
God is responsible for all of this. Right? That's what they'd tell you, anyway. Maybe you can better understand my passionate stance against Christian Islam.
It would make you re-evaluate "biblical", too.