It’s Spiritual Abuse

I won’t apologize for calling it what it is.

Because it’s abusive to pick and choose which scriptures prevail and which ones get conveniently swept under the rug. Which ones are to be interpreted literally and which ones, under no circumstances, aren’t.

It’s abusive to decide which “sins” are permissible, as in humanly forgivable, and which “sins” are to be openly shamed. Which “sinners” are to be turned away and excommunicated, and which are to be welcomed with open, accepting arms.

It’s abusive to preach about agency — the will to make decisions for oneself — and then dictate what decisions must be made (or else).

It’s abusive to use your religion as a means for power and control over others.

It’s abusive to favor the men, to place them on pedestals, to hand them more power because of their penis, to believe the men before the women in dynamics of domestic abuse, to shame and discard the women after divorce but not the men who are the abusers.

Self-righteous judgment is abusive.

Misogyny is abusive.

The patriarchy — in church and beyond it — is abusive.

The double standards and hypocrisy of organized religion are abusive.

Demanding conformity is abusive.

Using the man-made church, and its doctrine, and all related, interwoven coercive control (defined by Laura Richards, a criminal behavior analyst, as a strategic pattern of behavior designed to exploit, control, create dependency, and dominate) is abusive.

And what’s more, as if all that isn’t enough, spiritual abuse enables domestic abuse.

I can’t and will never see it any other way,

because my life was forever changed by it.

I’m bettin’ the chances are good: yours was too.

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