I read this story of this man, and as I read through the abuse he also suffered from his parents, I could see clearly how these religious communities groom children for child sexual abuse. And why child sexual abuse is as prevalent as it is, within religious communities.
When authoritarian parents, who demand obedience and force children to not be able to speak up for themselves, and children live in fear of being hit, spanked, belted etc… they become easy targets for predators. Because they are already being abused. And they are far more likely to keep quiet.
I’ve seen this kind of parenting at a right wing, non empathy Baptist Church. Corporal punishment and physical discipline heavily encouraged, from being babies. Parents who do not ‘follow like sheep’ are frowned upon, and made to feel like they are the bad parents. Parenting courses are completed in secret and only the sheeple are allowed to participate. All Satan led.
Not only is this abusive parenting which causes lifelong issues, but it can cause further issues. Predators love these types of religious communities. Children living in fear, don’t speak up when being sexually abused. And if they do, they are further treated badly and further abused. The ‘church’ often cares more about it’s reputation, than the children/victims. Families within religious communities, often care more about their reputation within the church, than their own children.
Once these victims become adults, the abuse often continues by religious people. The demand for forgiveness despite no repentance/remorse, is further abuse. The demand for keeping quiet and the insinuation that the victim is the ‘bad’ person, for speaking up. Meaningless words are thrown about to victimise the victim further, like ‘don’t judge’, grace, mercy, forgiveness. Bible quotes thrown about. Excuses, rationalisation, often used. All abused. All spiritual abuse.
Religious communities, all too often become safe havens for predators, and somehow this is cognitively distorted as ‘good’. Predators are welcomed into churches, and again this is considered the ‘Christian’ way. Predators know that if they lie, or if caught out they can pretend to repent, will be able to remain within the religious community. Their levels of manipulation and pathological lying, ignored by some. Some actually want to be around predators, as they are already abusing their children in other ways.
I will not attend a church, or put my children in environments where there is greater risk of abuse. Where predators are given free reign to groom and manipulate. Where children are already being groomed and abused, by parents. Where predators are continually tempted, by being allowed around all the church children. Where physical abuse is encouraged and condoned. Where people pride themselves on allowing abuse/abusers to abuse. Where they make irrational and distorted arguments that this is being a ‘good Christian’.
I’m so glad this man has broken the chains of this abuse and spoke up. I also hope he comes to understand he was also abused by his father, and breaks the chains of that religious abuse and doesn’t use physical abuse to his children.