The Survivor Wars are heating up again as anticipation builds for the upcoming GRACE report. As I have written about ad nauseam on this page, I have my doubts about the purity of the mission of GRACE. While Franklyn Graham, and Matt Barber, professor at Liberty University’s law school, spout homophobic comments relating homosexuality to pedophilia, Boz Tchvidjian, founder of GRACE, says nothing to correct this horrible misconception. Perhaps this is one of the reasons some in the survivor communities have taken pause and realized that the GRACE report, while revealing embarrassing information about Bob Jones University, may not be the slam dunk everyone expects.
This is actually common sense. How can you comment on a report that has not been published? On the other hand, the ones driving the current survivor inquisition have no problems predicting the report will be a slam dunk driving BJU into a sorrow filled jag of repentance. And anyone who dares question the report might not be a slam/dunk? They must not be trusted!
The people being attacked are none other than Jeffrey Hoffman, of BJUnity, and Christopher Peterman, who was expelled from BJU, allegedly for watching GLEE, but most likely because he was one of the prominent people involved in the BJU protest concerning Chuck Phelps on the board of Bob Jones University.
Here’s what was said regarding Hoffman and Peterman:
Linda personally showed me ‘the door’ herself, but I can’t find the quote and, honestly, I’m not going to screen shot every Tom, Dick, and Harry comment. I must address the ‘have their own agendas’ portion.
Everyone has an agenda. Here is mine:
When I first started blogging about abuse in fundamentalism following Bob Gray’s arrest, my goal was not to repeat the mistakes of the type of child advocacy that led us to the McMartin scandals. When I first moved to California, I met one woman who claimed her daughter was ritually abused at the McMartin pre-school, and another couple who suffered horrible problems after an unethical therapist twisted their words.
The therapist (or ‘the rapist’, to borrow from Benny Hill) had them believe they were priests in a Satanic cult where they abused their son. That’s how child abuse has been used! As a way to get brownie points, land grabs, and grant money to ‘research’ child abuse, but only in states where recipients of those grants were given immunity in case things went horribly wrong. These are the people who invented both the troubled teen industry and ‘believe the children’ which, in practice, means never question the prosecution. A number of unethical therapists responsible for the Satanic abuse conspiracy racket did so using grant money. Today, preachers and policeman are being arrested and, unfortunately, those cases seem to have substance. But not the same media excitement as false accusations of Satanic ritual abuse. They loved the flash more than the facts.
My goal was to write about religious abuse in a way that kept the conversation rational and would not compromise the due process of law. That is still my goal.
This survivor inquisition, which really has been on-going since the days of the aborted Bob Gray trial, seems to be the baggage that everyone who fights the battle must carry. We must also pretend it doesn’t exist. Yes, even as we criticize fundamentalists for their baggage that they refuse to acknowledge! This is crippling the survivor community.
Here’s a conundrum, and I have to get a big personal, but as a person who was attacked in much the same way as Jeffrey and Christopher, I remember people not saying one word in my defense. Jeffrey did say I made good points, but most wanted me to lay off scrutiny of GRACE. Especially, since I am on the side of survivors. Critical thinking, in the survivor world, has defaulted to those supporting abusive institutions. Fighting child abuse, while being fair and rational at the same time, doesn’t seem to be an American tradition. It seems you can’t get fundamentalists to protect the children unless you allow them a sacrificial victim. In this case, the rights and respect for gays are about to be sacrificed on the silver platter of Christian child advocacy.
The nature of fundamentalism is never having to admit that you’re wrong. Will the accountability movement learn from their mistakes? Will they start reverencing facts instead of rallying behind polarizing figures who can’t deal with the slightest disagreement?
Those who defend Bob Jones University might feel a bit of comfort, but it won’t last long. One day, survivors will get their act together and learn from their mistakes. Jerry Falwell learned from his ‘mistake’ when he condemned Christians involved in politics back in the 60s. When he started the Moral Majority in the early 80s, he was astute enough to mention that he was wrong. He knew critics would dig out his comment about why Christians shouldn’t involve themselves with civil rights. Between that, and the folksy and friendly way he treated celebrities like Bill Maher, and, in the end, Falwell won. He built his law school where GRACE’s Boz Tchvidjian works alongside the likes of the homophobe warrior, Matt Barber.
Liberty University is probably more powerful and influential now than it was during the golden age of the Moral Majority. Now professors can spout homophobic comments, and even if it gets out, even the best won’t criticize Liberty. After all, they let women wear pants! They’s modern!!! And they’s got GRACE and be fightin’ child abuse!
Even if people hate what I write, if and when the day comes when homosexuality is equated with pedophilia by the Christian ‘experts’, the loud disjointed cacophony from the internet will ultimately succeed.
Loud voices, you know. . .
NOTE: Two Facebook groups have already been formed to address this controversy.