Roy Moore's scandal is just the tip of American evangelical Christianity's child bride problem


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/12/early-courtship.html


#2

Rural communities seem to resemble less modern human societies. Hence, “Conservative”, resistant to change to adapt to new social mores.

All this to say: Yeah, we kinda expect this stuff to be going on a lot in fundamentalist communities. And surprise! It is.


#3

Yee-haw! Git them britches down!


#4

The girl’s father was expected to direct her education after the courtship began so she could help her future husband in his work.

00sigmund-freud-photo


#5

Once again, I have to say I really deplore the laziness of the scriptwriters of this drama called “2017”. It’s like they aren’t even trying any more, and they’re just happy to churn out caricature villains who are simply vile in every single way that you can possibly imagine.


#6

The thing though is that “hard line evangelical” doesn’t always equal rural.

I think you’d be surprised how many evangelicals live in fairly populous areas.

Also, I imagine that this has to be a “community/parental supported” issue. Speaking as a Dad, if an adult male showed up at my house to take my “middle teen” daughter out (luckily this is not something I have to worry about for another decade or so), I’d be having a stern talk about police and restraining orders, or long drives out into the remote part of the desert, if I even heard that said adult/predator even looked sideways at my kid.

What I don’t get is why people are so f-ing entranced with the idea “oh, but this is how it was done in biblical times!!!” So F-ing what? They also didn’t have modern medicine or technology, but I bet you’d go to a doctor if needed, and enjoy using your cell phone and car.


#7

“It’s a widespread view among the hard right evangelical world”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s a huge claim. Even citing “Independent Fundamentalist Baptists” is a huge claim. Some things I’ll point out:
a) the evangelical christian community holds a wide range of beliefs, even those you might call “far-right” (and I suspect people would vary on who they put in that category)
b) You really can’t make generalizations about independent Baptists either. There is no “IFB” denomination. These churches are each independent entities (hence the name)–a church calling itself Baptist and not belonging to any denomination could fall along a wide continuum of beliefs. And yes, I’m sure some (even many?) of them are horrible excuses for male sexual domination. But even of those, we have no reason to believe they all advocate child brides (unless you have research to back this up?).

At any rate, they are just a fraction of Baptists, much less of evangelicals, much less of Christians. I understand being horrified that such treatment exists at all, but let’s have some numbers before claiming it’s “widespread” and try not to paint with too broad a brush.


#8

Christianity’s child bride problem

This is not a one particular religion issue, many religions do this, and have for thousands of years. That said I need to go puke again.


#9

Gee, it’s almost like it’s an all-around bad idea to structure one’s 21 century life around a book written by tribal desert nomads several thousand years ago.


#10

Uh no. I grew up on this movement and went to several churches in it. Have family members in it too. Yes, a lot of it is backwards but I never heard of anything like you describe going on in it, so don’t call it a widespread problem. You should be more responsible when accusing entire groups of people as pedophiles.


#11

What evidence we have is a bunch of Alabama officials saying it’s no big deal, this is what Joseph and Mary did, yadda yadda. It doesn’t matter if this is a minority if the people in power are representing this minority’s beliefs. I mean, the minority of Arabs adhere to what we call Wahhabism, but we still consider those bastards to be a significant force since they, like, rule Saudi Arabia.


#12

The grooming of children to marry adult men is a common practice in American evangelical circles, and infamous child-bride advocates are celebrated on the lecture circuit, especially among home schoolers.

I think one is missing a “more” there.


#13

Hoo boy - that is a hellofa broad brush you got there, buddy.


#14

I certainly won’t defend said Alabamians. But the far right hasn’t had any kind of a monopoly on abusive dickheads recently. Lots of people from a lot of corners have spend a lot of years looking away or excusing people’s behavior when it was convenient–And being equally hypocritical (ah, that feminist Weinstein, or for that matter, the “logical” Richard Dawkins). I don’t want to misrepresent the beliefs of ANY group because of the behavior of the few for the very simple reason that all of us belong in some way to groups of people that include people doing heinous things. We don’t want to be considered guilty by association, and neither should we do that to others.


#15

Is this where I’m supposed to say ‘Roll Tide’?


#16

Tell them that they can have their biblical times, or they can have their guns. Pick one.


#17

Not my favorite news outlet, but the poll speaks for itself…

I pity anyone unfortunate enough to be a teenager in an “evangelical” household.


#18

The evangelicals I know, both urban and rural, are just as horrified as everyone else at the thought of minor children being preyed upon in this way. Around here, it is rare, but not completely uncommon for 18-year-olds to marry, but in any evangelical group I’m aware of here (and there are many) an 18-year-old involved with or marrying a significantly older man would meet with disapproval. A 15-year-old involved with a man would meet with DCFS and a police officer.

I don’t dispute that there is some awful sexual abuse going on under the pretense of biblical approval. I think we should be finding out more about how to bring it out from underground. Defending these practices, even in the abstract, is a new low for these party hacks.


#19

Insert barfing gif here


#20

Huh.

burningcouch