Heartbreaking

Moira Greyland, writing to the The Guardian (emphasis added):

Greyland, writing to the Guardian via email, said that she had not spoken out before “because I thought that my mother’s fans would be angry with me for saying anything against someone who had championed women’s rights and made so many of them feel differently about themselves and their lives. I didn’t want to hurt anyone she had helped, so I just kept my mouth shut”.

Greyland, a harpist, singer and opera director, said it was now clear to her that “one reason I never said anything is that I regarded her life as being more important than mine: her fame more important, and assuredly the comfort of her fans as more important. Those who knew me, knew the truth about her, but beyond that, it did not matter what she had done to me, as long as her work and her reputation continued.”

I can absolutely see where Moira would have arrived at that conclusion, and in fact many in the SF/F community probably think exactly that: that MZB’s life is more important than Moira’s. I can see where that would have kept her from speaking out for so long. Not knowing anything else, I’d hazard an educated guess that Moira probably figured it was her duty to be the sacrificial lamb on account of how well everyone else seemed to regard her mother. Besides, it’s entirely possible that, for many years, she figured that “deserved” the abuses she received.

Sadly, MZB got away with a myriad of atrocities against many children, including her own, during her time on this earth. She married a man she knew was a pederast; she covered for his abuses; she engaged in abuses of her own against children. She was a despicable, sordid excuse for a human being. Ditto for her husband.

Against that backdrop, Damien Walter raises the following issue:

It’s a truism that the writer you read on the page is not the writer you meet in the flesh. It’s for exactly this reason that meeting our cultural heroes is so often a profound disappointment. The transcendent singer on the stage is a bawdy lech in the bar. The poet who expresses beauty in words is a drunken misanthrope in person. So we commonly separate the artist from the human being, the icon from the reality. But when the actions of our cultural heroes go beyond bad behaviour, into to moral outrage, illegality and immorality, that separation becomes far harder. And in some cases, impossible.

I agree with the entirety of that statement. Truth be told, most writers–even the best Christian ones–were hardly sterling pure.

C.S. Lewis drank a bit much, smoked, and had sexual appetites that were bizarre at best and twisted at worst. And yet, he was probably the best Christian writer and apologist in the last 500 years.

I accept that great thinkers and writers are often “out there”, and are sometimes wired a bit differently than the average bear. At times, their devotion to excellence often leads to imbalances in other areas of their lives, and, given that one’s sexuality is a huge part of one’s life, that is a facet that can easily become disjointed.

Still, there is a threshold beyond which one can no longer separate the artist from the art. Lewis, whatever his sexual issues, kept his activities among otherwise consenting adults. As far as we know, he was faithful to his wife, and–after she died–he grieved like few men grieve.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, on the other hand, exceeds that threshold. I cannot separate the artist from the art in her case.

One reader of this blog–Savvy–remarked that, in the Mists of Avalon series, MZB “wrote about incest with great ease in a manner that turned my stomach.” Now we know how she was able to write about it with said ease.

Because of the damage that she inflicted on her children–Moira and Mark Greyland–as well as others, and because she covered for her husbands abuses against other children, the proper place for her works is the incinerator or gun range. I generally oppose the practice, but–if I owned any of her books–they would be targets for my next trip to Knob Creek.

If you want to support art from that family, then buy Moira Greyland’s music, or Mark Greyland’s art.

IRS Email Scandal: Multiple Deliberate, Wanton Felonies

To anyone who believes the official IRS line that Lois Lerner’s emails were destroyed because her hard drive crashed, or because the backup process didn’t work correctly: I have oceanfront property in Wyoming for sale.

If the emails are missing, then in fact it is only so due to multiple deliberate, wanton felonies by policymakers at the highest level of the Treasury Department, including public and private-sector IT personnel.

This was no “accident”.

If I send you an email, it will reside on one or more servers–usually one with a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID), as well as multiple hard drives: mine and yours, and the drive of anyone else on the distribution. It will also reside on the smartphone of anyone using such a device to monitor e-mail.

To say that a hard drive “crashed” is an out-and-out lie. Such incidents will not make data unrecoverable: technology allows the recovery of data–even files that have been “deleted”–from such drives. I could take a hard drive to the gun range and shoot the crap out of it, and the FBI would have an excellent chance of recovering the data from the drive.

Unless I destroy the hard drive altogether–either by discarding it or burning it with Thermite–the chances are extremely high that the data on that drive is recoverable.

But here’s the thing: for the emails to be unrecoverable, then every server drive, every backup of every server drive going back two years, every hard drive of every recipient of emails from Lois Lerner–and every sender of emails to her–would also have to be destroyed.

A “hard drive crash” explanation carries even less credibility than “the dog ate my homework”. If you believe their story, then you are either gullible, ignorant, or just plain stupid.

If the Department of Justice had any integrity whatsoever, they’d have their best forensics experts tearing the IRS apart. You would see indictments by the end of the week, and that would include frog-marching the entire top tier of the IRS in handcuffs, directly to jail, without passing GO or collecting $200.

You would see impeachment proceedings within the week, and Obama would be out the door by the end of July.

We forced Nixon to resign for much lesser offenses.

Embracing the Suck: Preservation Pedal 2014

After two century rides in 6 weeks–the Redbud Ride and the Horsey Hundred–I approached the Preservation Pedal with a cautious optimism. At the Redbud Ride, I suffered a nasty crash at mile 16, but managed to get up and ride the remaining 84 miles to finish well. 6 weeks later, at the Horsey Hundred, my neck was still a little sore from the whiplash injury.

The Horsey Hundred was no easy ride, either: the two most critical rest stops ran out of food due to loss of phone coverage and a supply truck getting lost. As a result, I rode 64 miles with little more than Gatorade. But I still finished well.

Given the fact that I ran into issues at both prior rides, I knew The Preservation Pedal would have its share of challenges. The hill profile was similar to the Horsey Hundred, and the weather forecast had the temperature getting higher than Cheech and Chong with a fresh crop of pot. The worst hills were on the front 50, but the weather would make the back 50 difficult.

I decided that my strategy was going to be to go slow enjoy the ride, and save my strength for the back 50.

Thankfully, MrsLarijani was looking out for her husband: she learned that a group with the Bluegrass Cycling Club–of which I am a member–had a “slowpokes group” leaving 90 minutes early. I decided I’d go with that group.

That turned out to be a very smart move.

The folks in that group were very laid-back, and the leader said the plan was to make every effort to stay together. Most of the people in the group–like myself–were vying for the Kentucky Century Challenge. Like myself, most of them had done the first two–The Redbud Ride and the Horsey Hundred–and needed this one to notch their qualification for the jersey.

(Completing three allows you to purchase the jersey for $30; completing all four gets you a free jersey. At the same time, it costs more to do all four than it does to do only three and pay out $30, so most folks only do three.)

Ok…back to the Preservation Pedal…

Starting at 6:30 was a great move.

On the negative side: the first rest stop had not yet opened, but that didn’t matter, as all of us had plenty of water bottles and carb/electrolyte replacers.

On the positive side: the temperature for most of the front 50 was quite mild. There was humidity, but it was bearable. Riding with a group provided great camaraderie. We were all pretty laid-back, focusing on enjoying the ride.

The hills were tough, but not that bad. They were more long than they were steep, and–in a sinister way–I enjoyed them more than the downhills. There had been a nasty thunderstorm the night before, and–as a result–there were downed branches and other debris on the course that made downhills tough. Also, there were lots of hard turns and gravel-laded portions on the course, which, again, made it hard to really let go on the downhills. As a result, I was very conservative on downhills.

The rest stops were excellent: well-stocked and well-staffed. Lots of Gatorade, powerbars, fig bars, PB&J, cookies, bananas, oranges, watermelons, orangutangs, and breakfast cereals, and fruitbats

At mile 50, the leader said, “Congratulations, folks, this was the worst part of the ride.” But honestly, it didn’t seem that bad. I actually felt pretty good.

After mile 50, the weather made a nasty turn, as the clouds disappeared, the temperature began to rise, and we began to face the headwinds.

Still, even with the heat, it wasn’t that bad. The rest stops on the back 50 were well-placed, allowing for good hydration and carb replenishment. The course was not quite as challenging as the front 50, but it still required a toughness factor. One person in our group dropped out, apparently from heat exhaustion.

We had one lady–Marianne–who earned the Badass Award. At mile 91, some idiot took a downhill too hard and sideswiped Marianne, causing her to hit a guard rail. She received some minor cuts, and her front brake was out of commission, but she still was able to finish well.

At the end, we were happy to be done. As far as courses go, this one was tough but not that bad. The weather was the biggest challenge in this ride.

In terms of endurance, I felt pretty good, although I had some minor knee and joint pain. My butt also hurt from being in the seat.

Still, as far as rides go, this was the more enjoyable of the three. Riding in a group was a smart move, and I picked a good group.

I’m glad I’ve earned my jersey, but I may still do that fourth ride for the bragging rights.

So far, looking upon the three century rides, it seems that they are a snapshot of why I like endurance events: they represent life.

At the Redbud Ride, the conditions were just about perfect, but I had a bad wreck at mile 16.

At the Horsey Hundred, I had no crashes, and the conditions were excellent, but two key rest stops were out of food.

At the Preservation Pedal, I had no crashes, and there was no shortage of food at the rest stops, but the weather was brutal.

In every endurance event–marathon, ultra-marathon, century ride–there is always going to be a “suck factor” that complicates things. Maybe you run into a hydration issue, maybe you crash for reasons outside your control, maybe it’s hotter than ideal, maybe you “hit the wall” sooner than you were planning.

When those things happen, you have two choices: you can suck it up, grind it out, and go the distance, or you can pack it in.

Just remember, though: life is like that, too. No matter how well you prepare, no matter how hard you work, no matter how well you deserve it, things will not always go as you planned. When that happens, you have two choices: you can adjust and give yourself a chance to succeed, or you can give up.

Endurance teaches you the benefits of embracing the suck.

A Howling Reproach to the World: Breendoggle and The Sexual Revolution

Recently, Deirdre Saoirse Moen–a SF/F writer with a blogosphere presence–has done a wonderful job blowing the top off two of the most scandalous figures in the history of science fiction: Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband Walter Breen.

Here are the links to her relevant posts on this topic:

While Deirdre and I are not on the same page with our worldviews, I do provide a tip of the cap for her coverage of MZB and the “Breendoggle.”

Moira Greyland–the daughter of MZB and the late Walter Breen–confirmed what Deirdre reported, and offered her own input on that site. Others who had suffered catastrophic abuse also spoke of their experiences and struggles. I wish them all the best. Again, I thank Deirdre for her solid coverage.

On one of the threads, I had an exchange with Barbara, who herself–like Moira–suffered horrific abuses as a child. Here is one of her comments:

I just finished reading the Breendoggle document.

I am aghast. You know, generally the sexual revolution was a positive thing, (it helped us recognize that homosexuality isn’t a perversion, that women deserve sexual autonomy, that birth control is a good thing and that rape, incest and sexual abuse happen, and are bad and victims of same should be supported) but reading this document showed me the dark side of it all.

To have fully grown, adults who are obviously rational, discussing whether or not the publicly displayed sexual activity with a three year old harms the child—it blew my mind. BLEW my mind. Completely.

But, with all of the sexual experimentation that was happening, with the sexual openness–and with the fact that people still didn’t really talk about incest or sexual abuse openly, AND that there was a dearth of research into these matters, I could see this happening.

But it still made my heart stop. To listen to the author arguing with himself over the entire issue, and then seeing that he finally came to the conclusion that Breen was hurting kids, mostly based on his own moral conviction and going against that “free love” philosophy at the time was astounding.

That is the dark side of the hippie culture. And it affected and still affects SF/Fantasy culture, Geek culture, Gaming culture, Neo-Pagan culture and SCA–I know because I have been involved in all of these cultures at one time or another, and I swear that is part of where the whole, “But it’s evil to exclude someone! We’re all freaks, it’s just that so and so is a little more freaky!” excuses and fallacies came from.

In trying to include those who had been rejected by mainstream society, in trying to build a culture based on openness and love, in trying to be tolerant and understanding, these people–many of whom, like the author of that document–were trying to do the right thing—they collectively sacrificed the most vulnerable among them–their kids.

I wish I could go back in time and shake some of them.

But it was chilling to read people saying similar things then about banning a predator from a con that have been said about predators at modern cons. For God’s sake, have we not learned anything in the intervening decades?

Once more, Moira–my heart goes out to you. To have grown up with both parents being so sick was a horrible experience. I am sorry your childhood was so unsafe and I want you to know that even though you don’t know me, as another commenter on another thread said–I’ve got your back.

First, a word out to Barbara and Moira: over here, we have your backs, too. Same goes for Jay and Deirdre. While I am going to challenge you on a few things, Barbara, none of those things–in whole or part–take away from the fact that we empathize with your experiences and otherwise want the best for you. In fact, I am going to challenge you for that very reason.

Now, about the Sexual Revolution (SR)…

Barbara: what you call “the dark side” of the SR is actually its logical conclusion. By removing social restraints on sexual expression–which required repudiating the basis behind those restraints–the SR proponents created a whole new basis, which provided no objective, moral compass against which to restrain expressions that we would dismiss as abhorrent.

The SR was the culmination of a number of things: the hijacking of academia by progressive elements, the onslaught of the Kinsey Reports, the American Law Institute’s use of the Kinsey Reports to re-write common law and undermine the severity of sex crimes via the Model Penal Code, and the counter-cultural rebellion of the 1960s.

I find nothing positive to say about it.

Many will argue about the double-standards and hypocrisy of Victorian-era sexual mores; in so doing, such critics forget that every era and epoch of history is fraught with double-standards. The elites, however, were not merely attacking Victorian-era prudery, but rather the Christian foundation for which the Victorians, whatever their shortcomings, stood. And make no mistake: the Bible was always the real target. Undermining that foundation was the aim of the SR.

The problem, invariably, becomes this: if you remove the Christian foundations that served as the basis for social mores–as well as law and justice–then that foundation will be replaced with something else. Over the last 50 years, we have seen what that something else is, and the future does not look particularly bright.

The SR is the product of a progressive model that Thomas Sowell called the “unrestrained view of Man” in his book A Conflict of Visions. In layman’s terms, the thinking goes this way: if we remove all cultural and religion-based restraint on society, then Man can reach the heights of human potential.

The problem with this thinking–from a purely worldly standpoint–is this: human potential works both ways.

While I would contend that the upside of human potential is maximized when God is honored–and I will provide an explication of that some other time–I also would contend that, removing God from society results in a world where there is no limit to the evil we can accomplish together.

We see this, at the basest level, in our understanding of sexuality.

I’ll sum up the Christian perspective in one paragraph:

To the Christian, sex is the act of the marriage covenant, a covenant heritage that extends all the way back to Creation. Marriage, in turn, is a covenant that represents a witness to the love of Christ for the Church. Marital faithfulness speaks to God’s faithfulness. The pleasures of sex speak of what God has done, is doing, and will do. This sexual expression often results in procreation, and that is also of theological importance. While childbearing–and child-rearing–are painful and challenging, the building of families speaks of a God who redeems and fashions for Himself a people who love Him.

This is why (a) marriage is between a man and a woman, (b) sex must be reserved for the marriage bed, and (c) any other expressions of sex are short of the glory.

Some will argue, “What about polygamy? Doesn’t the Bible endorse polygamy???”

That something is permitted does not mean that God endorsed it as a good thing. It is instructive to note that every instance of polygamy in Scripture was a case-study in severe dysfunction. When God created woman, He said, “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. (Notice the use of the singular.) In the pastoral epistles, Paul requires of would-be elders that they be “the husband of one wife.” (I.e., polygamists need not apply.)

That Christian perspective also rules out sex between members of the same sex. In fact, every instance in the Scriptures where it is mentioned, homosexual/lesbian sex–as with all sex outside of heterosexual marriage–is ALWAYS given negative coverage. I say this not to demonize homosexuals, but rather to point out that same-sex sexual relations are Biblically wrong, just as heterosexual sex outside of marriage is wrong.

Because sex is exclusively for marriage, that excludes children from sexual relations, as marriage is between a man and a woman. While there is no hard command as to the threshold for adulthood–and this varies from culture to culture–the Biblical position is clearly one that requires both parties to be of sufficient maturity to handle the challenges of marriage and family life. Simply-put: marriage is for grownups.

Now proponents of the SR will look at that and dismiss it as “narrow-minded” or “old-fashioned” or “Neanderthal” or “Medieval” or “Bronze Age”. Dismissing those boundaries is not so much a war on sex, but rather a war on the God who provided those standards for sex. That is what the SR was all about, and that is why the SR is so corrosive.

You see, if we take God out of the equation, then nothing–and I do mean nothing–is off the table. This is why–in the Breendoggle matter–so many SF/F writers and fans were so conflicted: while some had personal moral outrage, they had no objective basis for dismissing Breen. Breen and MZB would epitomize the rejection of all objective morality; in marriage, they took sexual license with their own children, and the children of others.

If you take our Christian foundations off the table, then pederasty–a common practice in the Greek culture of the New Testament era–remains on the table. It doesn’t matter that you and I otherwise find it objectionable, as it would not be our place to impose our morality on anyone else.

This would also explain why a fair share of SF/F writers and fans–such as Deborah J. Scott–continue to defend Marion Zimmer Bradley in spite of the objective evidence that Bradley was a child rapist and also covered for one.

Today, we live in the aftermath of the SR. No part of society–secular or religious–is unaffected. Our society has been inundated with sex, and this has been true for all age groups. Prominent clothing firms have even used sex to market products to girls and pre-teens. Whereas 30 years ago, one had to go to a book store, or a certain type of video store, or a certain section of a video store, or have cable television, to get pornography, today anyone is a mouseclick or smartphone away from the hardest-core pornography. Feminism has given us the “hookup culture”, which is fast-tracking many a sorority girl into a lifestyle that damages her chances of marrying well.

The SR has handed us a society in which more than 70% of black children and 40% of white children are born out of wedlock, thus forcing them to grow up without fathers. This, by the way, is one of the largest indicators of criminality. Cohabitation, the new “marriage”, is actually a very high indicator for child abuse.

And no discussion of the SR would be complete without mentioning the abortion holocaust, which has killed over 50 million children in the United States alone. And if you object to the use of the word “holocaust”, then pick a different name. Holocaust, genocide, or democide, you decide. What I won’t permit: any attempt to call that slaughter anything other than what it is.

But in an SF/F world where sexual license of all types is celebrated–and where more conservative authors (Vox Day, Larry Correia) are declared persona non grata–it is no surprise that Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen present such a conundrum to many fans and writers. The Breendoggle documents chronicle a stunning lack of moral clarity among the SF/F crowd, and yet–in a twisted way–they are aware of the dilemma even as they reject the solution.

Because the SF/F world is dominated by those who look at the SR as a good thing, the objective moral clarity is nonexistent.

Why Many Girls Remain Single … and … Why Many Wives Remain Unsatisfied

A friend posted a link to 5 Reasons Why Many Girls Remain Single by Emmanuel Ogunjumo on facebook, and since we talk about this kind of stuff out here, I hopped over and checked it out. I’ve never heard of this guy before, but he made some insightful points:

[Girl] wanted Jesus…not a disciple of Jesus…but Jesus Himself

[Girl] saw herself as a princess, but she did not care to prince her man

[Girl] liked being pursued but did not want to be caught

[Girl] was way too picky

[Girl] wanted Boaz but wanted to remain a Delilah

At the end he added this: “Food for Thought: Maybe I cannot find Mr.Right because I am wrong in the way I see relationships.”

I find his points to also be true of women who are married:

They want their husband to be perfect, not choosing to allow him to be human, while expecting him to accept her humanity unconditionally.

They want him to treat her like a princess, but they treat him like dog poo and then even brag about it … and they create a pattern of focusing on his weaknesses rather than his strengths.

They like the game of being desired and want to continue to play and lure, living in a fantasy world, without having to face reality and live this ordinary life.

They’re way too picky and pick and pick and pick at him till he just shuts down ’cause nothing he does is ever good enough; she is never satisfied.

They want him to be perfect in every possible way, yet they expect him to accept her just as she is, regardless of all her flaws.

And another Food for Thought: Maybe my perception that my husband is no longer Mr. Right is because I am wrong in the way I perceive my husband, myself, and our marriage.

*****

As always, I must add … if you, man or woman, are in an abusive relationship, these do not apply. Seek professional, biblical, help immediately. An abusive person will always distort the truth.

“They Did Their Best”, And Other Stupid Responses

(HT to Deirdre Saoirse Moen and Vox Day)

Moira Greyland, the daughter of the late science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB), has provided a necessary rebuke to those who “celebrate” her mother.

I must admit that I empathize with Moira. Her following poem is priceless, and offers a valuable lesson to folks–and the Christian world is absolutely stacked with them–who provide dismissive, pat, flippant answers to those who have been through terrible abuses at the hands of their parents.

They Did Their Best

By Moira Greyland

Something pat that sounds like understanding
So the ones of us left Who still cry when bereft
Risk guilt trips upon our heads landing

For the party line now Is to claim that somehow
Everybody somehow did their best
So the ones who did wrong Goes the new New Age song
Aren’t to blame, we should lay this to rest.

But it’s lies, there are villains who are still out there killing
Or else for our courts there’s no need
Our jails are not filled With innocents willed
By a system corrupted with greed.

My mother did her best, yes she really did her best
To drown me for not being her willing lover
My daddy did his best, oh he really did his best
And forced his preteen boyfriends to bend over.

Some people are sick, like to make people suffer
Some people just turn a blind eye
But pretending a monster is ribbons and lace
May condemn a small child to die.

My husband was a cop and much child abuse had stopped
Like the mom who put her baby on the stove
She threw him out of sight but the smell she couldn’t hide
And she didn’t come out smelling like a rose.

Did that mommy do her best? Would you tell that little one
“Forgive her dear, she must have been insane”
Would you tell that to those burns, To that lie will you return
And hurt those shining eyes so full of pain?

A victim does his best, a victim does her best
To love and live and give up grief and malice
But when we had no love, but what came down from Above
It’s surprising we have not become more callous.

And how to learn to cope And not give up all my hope
Is painful far enough without your lies
But if you had seen me then With blood pouring off my skin
Would you have turned a deaf ear to my cries??

And told me “Mommy did her best, yes, she really did her best
So stop crying and stop bleeding and forgive her
To cut you she’s the right, and to throw you out of sight
And not love you till you sexually deliver!!

What people tend to overlook is that there indeed are parents out there who reject all semblance of virtue. This is true of both mothers and fathers. In the case of MZB–and her husband Walter Breen–they subjected children, including their own, to physical and sexual abuses.

Like hell ‘they did their best.’ MZB both participated in and covered for the sexual abuse of children. Her husband was a predator, and she covered for him. They knew the truth; they knew what virtue was; they rejected it.

To drown your own daughter (son)–especially in the process of breaking her (him) sexually–is downright sadistic. And to think that the perpetrators were/are celebrated sci-fi authors speaks volumes about the highbrows dominating the SF/F world. I generally oppose book burning, but if anyone burned their books, I couldn’t blame them a bit. Personally, if I had them–and I don’t–I’d keep them as a reminder of the depths of evil and the people who perpetrate it.

Those types of abuses, however, also present a dilemma for the Christian. In the Scriptures, God is presented as the Heavenly Father, and yet there are children whose understanding of fathers is terribly shattered by what their earthly fathers and mothers did to them. Against that backdrop, pat answers–like you get from the Sovereign Grace camp–are extraordinarily corrosive.

I don’t know Moira personally, but I wish her all the best. While I don’t know where she stands theologically, she provides a sobering lesson nonetheless.

Smackdown on the Southern Baptist Convention

In the early 200s, the Roman Catholic world suffered what turned out to be a major earthquake: for decades, many clergy committed acts of sexual abuse against both children and adults. The extent of the abuses was global. Worse, many Archdioceses were complicit in covering up the abuses. This was a huge black eye for Catholics.

When the Catholic scandals hit the fan, many Protestants decried–with some merit–the institutional problems within the Catholic Church that permitted the culture of abuse to fester: notably (a) celibacy requirements for clergy and (b) a severe lack of transparency and accountability.

Still, Protestants had issues of their own on this front, and–while Protestants don’t require clergy to be celibate–many congregations have a deep-seated culture of hypocrisy that nurtures coverups of abuses, including sexual abuses.

During my seminary days, I had a friend–ND (not her real initials)–who spilled the beans:

  • She was raised in a Baptist Church.
  • She was in an outwardly “good, Christian family”.
  • Her father started having sex with her when she was 13.
  • The abuses continued for about four years.

She finally decided to do the right hing: she moved out of the house, reported her father to the police, and he was promptly arrested.

He was sent to prison, and ND found herself abandoned by her family and effectively made persona non grata at her church.

Yes, I know that this is anecdote and it isn’t data. At the same time, the Southern Baptist Convention–in spite of passing resolutions decrying sexual abuse–has made no credible effort to assess the depth of the problem in their ranks (in spite of passing a resolution to do so). Nor have they made any effort to develop a database for pastors who have been credibly accused. In fact, Dr. Frank Page–the President of the SBC Executive Committee–has dismissed sexual abuse victims as “opportunists”.

And while there is a case for the Southern Baptists to address hot-button issues of the day–although I would contend that transgenderism can be a complicated one because there are legitimate medical cases where such surgery is in order, and the people involved are merely trying to get their bodies medically-corrected so they can live decent lives–the folks at Wartburg Watch are correct in calling out the SBC for providing mere lip service regarding sexual abuse among clergy.

Right now, the Protestant and evangelical world–and yes, that includes the SBC–is awash in sex and various abuse scandals. From pastors, deacons, and elders cheating on their wives to clergy abusing children and covering for those who do, major housecleaning is in order.

While I oppose homosexuality as much as the next person, I would also contend that far more evangelicals cheat on their wives than sleep with members of the same sex. And the coverups of sexual abuses are more numerous than those engaging in gay and lesbian sex.

Churches need to eat some humble pie and address some long-hidden family jewels, bring them out in the open, allow justice to be done, and make restitution to the extent possible.

In fairness to conservatives, this is not merely a conservative problem. But conservatives need to take the lead in addressing the problem.

Orthodoxy requires orthopraxy.

Truth

There are some things that seem to bring out the best and/or the worst in people. Death is one of those things. The death of my girls’ daddy was tragic, and grieving is a slow and painful, one-day-at-a-time, process.

There were many things surrounding his death that happened, many things that his parents and brother did that were flat-out mean and cruel … to him, to me, and to our girls.

One series of those things occured during the funeral itself. His dad and brother both spoke. And they both used their eulogies to make passive-aggressive stabs at him, to make many passive-aggressive stabs at me, and some very direct stabs at me, and many passive-aggressive implied statements to our girls (most all of which both my girls caught). When I’ve told some what was said, people who have also come from or married into very abusive families, even they were shocked.

When we went out for the graveside, the Funeral Director asked me to come sit in front of the casket with my girls. The seating was his brother, his parents, my girls, and myself. So when that little service was complete, I was in the receiving line. I know it irked his parents and brother, but my girls were so thankful I was with them, and, as it turned out, I enjoyed being there. Many people from the years we were married came through, and I got to see them again. They were warm to me, smiled at me, hugged me. It was healing for me, and affirming.

During this time, my sister was standing by herself away from the crowd, feeling like a fifth wheel. She was awesome that whole week, taking off work and shadowing my special need’s daughter so I wouldn’t have to worry about her. While she was standing there, two separate people, from non-related groups, intentionally came up to her just to say they were sorry for how the funeral was handled and asked her to relay their sentiments to me. One of those people was the EVP/COO of the company their daddy worked for, a man whom I have also known since he first began working there before we had kids. The second person said he was a friend of his family.

The EVP/COO had come through the line at the very beginning as he was one of the Pall Bearers. He gave me a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek opposite the family. We enjoyed a very brief chat, referring to some of the things he had said during his eulogy, which was a wonderful eulogy. I am confident I know the other person who spoke to her, but she didn’t, so I may never know who it was. And that’s okay. Because … what they said was a gift to me.

I was shocked but not surprised at how terrible his dad and brother were, but I forget that, though their behavior is normal for them, it is certainly not normal for the greater majority of people.

Truth. I love how God has continually reaffirmed truth in my life.