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Church Beatings: Fun For The Whole Family
If it’s true that the meek shall inherit the earth, recent events show we may all be well and truly screwed.
A couple days ago, a news story broke about two brothers who were beaten severely during a “counseling session” in church. Both brothers were admitted to the hospital, and one brother died shortly after from his injuries. A small group of congregants was arrested, including the children’s parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard. Today, the lawyer representing the two had this to say: Mom [was] too meek to stop fatal beating of son in church.
I’m no expert in the New Testament (I had the old book drilled into me as a child – it’s a Jew thing). I do feel I have a general grasp of Christian theology. But I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The mother attended this church for 30 years. The family insisted on two hours of bible study daily. Obviously the church was a central part of their lives and the driving force that shaped their moral character. If the church was a significant factor in creating this meek woman, and the meek are celebrated as the inheritors of the Earth, this indicates the church celebrates and instills the very meekness that would paralyze this woman while her children are being slaughtered.
Many will say “this was not a church, this was a cult,” and will say that this is not representative of Christianity and Christian values. I get it; If I was a Christian, I would not want to associate myself with a group that perverts my faith. But until someone died, this was just another church, praising Jesus and guiding sinners down the righteous road to heaven. Similarly, some Catholic churches were just churches, until children came forward after being sexually abused. Some Mormon churches were just churches, until pastors were exposed for subjugating minors to forced marriages. Some evangelical churches were just churches, until it was revealed church leadership was profiting egregiously at the expense of congregations (and many of these are still “just churches”). Some Mosques were just mosques, until it was revealed they were preaching and participating in Jihad. I’m sure some bad shit happened in some synagogues that no one knew about until it was too late (no examples come to mind, but I wouldn’t be surprised). And so on.
Many religious people have done wonderful things, and they credit the goodness of their character in large part to their religious backgrounds. If you receive goodness from lessons of faith, this is a good thing! My concern is that because of how well religion self-insulates, we don’t really know where good and evil lives within religious communities until it’s too late, and I have to believe everyone, especially good people of faith (since it reflects so poorly on them), would be just as concerned about finding a solution to this problem.
I don’t have an answer or a solution to this. It’s just a rant. So you tell me – how do you tell the difference between good and evil in religion before someone gets hurt? If you are a religious person, how do you deal with evil in others proclaiming to have the same values as you before it’s too late?