No Gelato for Skepticon »« Admitting you’re wrong

Religion is all about peace and love

For example, Mormon prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote this about rape:

““In a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where this is no voluntary participation.It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

And what’s the result of such a statement? Mormons who say stuff like this about 18 year old girls who commit suicide after years of being sexually abused by her family members:

I don’t care what did or did not happen to her. First and foremost, I don’t believe rape exists. When there are incidents that are classified as “rape,” or names that are similar, what usually ends up happening is that the “victim” tends to “forget” to mention immodesty, flirty actions, or other conduct on their part that contributed to the matter. A woman who dresses immodestly must accept accountability for her choice of attire.

If, in fact, this girl was being molested or forced into prostitution as the media outlets say her tweets claimed, then it was her fault that it happened, and continued to happen.

My brain just exploded with rage. What a monument of evil. What’s even scarier is you don’t have to dig into fundamentalist Mormonism to see people blaming rape victims because of their immodesty, or flirtiness, or sexy clothes. Walk into a college bar. Browse reddit. Attend a Republican rally. Hell, select a random person on the street. That victim blaming is depressingly common.

If any post deserves the “I hate people” tag, it’s certainly this one.

(Via Pharyngula)

Comments

  1. Laura-Ray says

    Children don’t need the sin beaten out of them. People like this need the stupid beaten out of them.
    /disgust.

  2. Wenchie says

    I’m sorry you feel religion is the culprit here but the true problem is that it’s not a “religion” and it’s not “religion” in general that teaches people to think that way. It’s people who do.
    For example I’m sure I could find atheists or agnostics within the same camp as the mormons, but to say all atheists or agnostics think that way or say those things is ridiculous narrow minded and just insulting to the fact that people are different, think different, have had different experiences, and different compacities for comprehension on the truth of those that have endured rape or sexual abuse. In addition to that I know mormons who don’t think that way. Religion has nothing to do with it, ignorance and a lack of empathy are the true culprits.

  3. julielada says

    Further down he says: “No ‘attack’ is completely unprovoked.”

    Yeah, I’m sure all those coma patients, elderly Alzheimer’s patients and toddlers that have been raped were prancing around in a thong, being flirtatious hussies and provoking their rapists.

  4. Tom Singer says

    That’s not at all what I understood the Kimball quote to mean. You seem to interpret that as, if you get raped, and you don’t fightto the death, then you’re a dirty slut. I take it to mean, rape doesn’t tke away your virtue, unapproved consensual sex does, and it’s better to lose your life than to lose your virtue. But, I have no other knowledge of Kimball that might change that interpretation.

  5. julian says

    Religion has nothing to do with it

    How many religious leaders need to be quoted before people start seeing this claim for the BS that it is?

  6. says

    Remember, everyone: men are just helpless, out-of-control animals. They can’t make decisions or regulate their behavior. Women are the ones with agency, so we’re the ones who need to take responsibility and behave in ways that keep the situation under control. Now, we also need to allow men to be in charge of society and accept our dependence on them, because…wait, where was I going with this?

    Patriarchy is incoherent.

  7. Blake Garten says

    LDS president Kimball’s point seems to go right along with the stunningly cold and inhumane sentiment I’ve heard in Mormon sacrament talks before that it’s “better for a missionary to come home dead than to come home unclean.”

    Hey, my kid can survive a sexual encounter, learn from it, and decide how to treat people right and treat him or herself right, with dignity and love, but if my kid is dead, NOTHING good comes of that.

  8. says

    While I agree that Mormonism has serious problems with victim-blaming (among countless other things), this fellow seems to be constructing his own brand of misogynistic (and homophobic, and, and, and… ) iconoclasm beyond even the ugliness of the Mormon Church. He writes in a later post that he “expect[s] to be called into the bishop’s office over the Billasano matter.”

    Y’know, I’m not even sure this matters. His views are quite obviously built upon the sludge that Joseph Smith unloaded on the world, even if the Mormon muckety-mucks recognize the bad PR Crooke engenders.

  9. Laura-Ray says

    Just because some people don’t act that way and are religious doesn’t mean religion has nothing to do with it. Religion has EVERYTHING to do with this! Religious people are using their religion to justify these heinous acts. If an atheist does the same thing, they’re culpable too! But “I know people who don’t do X!” is not a defense for calling out religious people for acting terribly in the name of religion. And it’s a fundamental part of religion to believe without evidence the things that people tell you, which may be that working at soup kitchens is AWESOME (what my religious leaders told me), or it may be that women who are raped are whores who were asking for it. It’s the fact that religions are telling you to believe something they have no evidence for. This allows people to defend things like beating their children, or believing that rape doesn’t exist, because their religion says so. It’s used as an impenetrable shield for all manner of evils. And that ain’t right.

  10. carolw says

    Barf. Sorry, but I don’t particularly want to wear floor-length skirts, long sleeves, and high collars just because some men might lose control at the sight of my well-turned ankle.

    Everyone say it with me, come on, “Rape is no one’s fault but the rapist’s.”

    Grr.

  11. Jimbo says

    In the immortal words of Linus from the “Peanuts” comic strip: “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.

  12. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    You do know that Spencer W. Kimball is the President of the Mormon Church. He even ranks higher than the Pope, who is merely infallible. Kimball is officially a “prophet, seer, and revelator” with direct input from God himself. Now go and read the first paragraph of Jen’s post and tell us again about how woman-friendly religion is.

    When you’re done with that, go read why the Pope won’t allow women priests. It has such tidbits as “Christ was incarnated as a man, in fact maleness is an essential ingredient of the Incarnation in God’s plan of redemption.”

    I’m sure you already know about the Iranian imams idea that women lead men into rape and rather than having the men control themselves, the women should wear burkhas so men avoid temptation. And let’s not get into female circumcision, because that religious driven idea is just stomach churning.

    While there are religions which will, on a good day and with a favorable wind, treat women as possibly approaching being human beings, there are a whole bunch of religions which go out of their way to be misogynist.

  13. Azkyroth says

    More to the point, the misogyny is in pretty much every case an integral part of that religion’s official doctrine and members who buck it almost invariably go to a great deal of trouble to rationalize doing so.

  14. says

    Yes. This. A million times over.

    Astounding how women are seen as being incapable of doing anything as well as a man, and yet men are entirely incapable of controlling themselves–pretty much the root basis of all human action.

    Frackin’ ridiculous.

  15. markns says

    There is no atheist doctrine, atheist hierarchy or atheist authorities therefore atheists who share Kimball’s misogynist views are truly examples of your “people do” idea. Religions on the other hand have official doctrine, most have hierarchies and all have recognized authorities. Part of being a member of a religious club is adhering to the dicta of the organization. Kimball spoke for the Mormon church. His pronouncements are expected to be believed and followed and they are by many Mormons. To say these ideas of these disgusting pigs and their followers are not the direct result of religion is idiocy. It speaks to your willful blindness to the evils of religion, presumably because you are silly enough to believe in the ridiculous stories of one of them. You are part of the problem.

  16. says

    All those kids raped by Catholic priests had it coming to them, too, I suppose. Especially the ones dressed in those provocative altar boy outfits…

  17. Shaun says

    I’m a former Mormon with little affection for my former religion, but I was pretty sure that the joker who quoted that either made it up or misattributed it. I dug around to find my copy of The Miracle of Forgiveness (something I never thought I’d do), but couldn’t find it. I did, however, find the text on the Church’s website (http://lds.org/braille/The%20Miracle%20of%20Forgiveness.txt).

    …and it’s all true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that book quoted in church, been told to read it, told how wonderful it was. And right there, this man I was told was a Prophet of God is suggesting that with rape, it might be better for a woman to provoke a struggle that gets her killed than to let it happen and live. I really just want to go cry now.

  18. Marta says

    It’s not because he’s religious, it’s because he’s a privileged asshole. There’s a huge difference.

  19. tarian says

    Whaargarbl. Do not follow the links! Or maybe do follow the links, long enough to find the names and photographs of the people espousing these philosophies, so as to avoid them A LOT if you happen to wind up in the same map tile.

    Shorter Michael Crook:
    “If a four-year-old gets raped, was she asking for it?”
    “She was totally asking for it!”

    o.O
    O.o
    Everybody remove everybody from this man’s vicinity!

  20. Makoto says

    Rape isn’t about provocation and timing, it’s about power. Rape in prison? Power. Rape on the street? Power.

    It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter what kinds of “looks” you’re giving. It doesn’t even matter what sex you are, when it really gets down to it.

    Even if the most desirable person that I could imagine was walking in front of me with a “come hither” look while naked, I wouldn’t force myself on them. That’s just not how a civilized / moral person acts. Since religious folks are so often trying to claim morality behind their words, perhaps they should understand that, rather than trying to claim that “I don’t believe that rape exists”.

    I could claim that the 7-11 was just begging to be robbed, what with the lax security, fairly untrained staff, and so on, but would they claim that robbery doesn’t exist if someone ran off with some cash from the register, or some of the beer from the cooler?

  21. StJason says

    What a great justification! Let’s expand it to everything!

    Robbery doesn’t exist. If people didn’t want their things stolen, then they’d be standing over them to fight off the robbers!
    Fraud doesn’t exist. If people didn’t want to give their money away, then they wouldn’t have let themselves be tricked out of it!
    Murder doesn’t exist. If people didn’t want to be killed, they wouldn’t have made ‘come kill me’ looks or be wearing clothing that invited stabbing!

    And beatdowns of morons wouldn’t exist, if they didn’t want to be bludgeoned into a pulp, they wouldn’t opine inane stuff like this.

  22. Stacy says

    Oh, it makes perfect sense. Men are supposed to be in charge; they just aren’t supposed to be held accountable when they abuse their power.

    And get that “women have agency” notion out of your pretty little head! Women are wily objects who, while incapable of feeling much sexual excitement themselves (unless they’re Sluts™), know that their sinfully enticing bodies excite teh Menz and (if they’re Sluts™) use said charms for their own advantage. (And a woman doing anything for her own advantage is of course Wicked.)

    (Interesting, isn’t it, how at all times even girls are supposed to be aware of how they look or might look to some man. No room for unselfconsciousness or for a sense of self predicated on something other than others’ judgments–oh, now I’m babbling. Sorry.)/rant

  23. SamG says

    So, as a young person, I had rape nightmares. In my nightmares, I ALWAYS turned the tables and killed the bastard somehow. So, anyone want to bet on whether or not I’d be the bad person in that case (a woman placing herself as more important that a man)?

    I couldn’t finish reading. I am feeling like I used to in those nightmares.

    Sam

  24. says

    I don’t think I’ve read anything more horrifyingly misogynist than this shit. I almost want to link to it on facebook/twitter, but I don’t want to give him any more traffic than he already has.

  25. says

    For the record, I see this particular pamphlet (The Miracle of Forgiveness) lambasted on ExMormon.Org frequently, especially by victims of sexual abuse.

    I’m not denying that some fuckwits use religion to promote crap like this but it’s not a good representation of all religious teachings. The vast majority of religions (even Satanism apparently) look down on harming others. The problem is that adherents of religion are broken human beings and therefore not perfect examples of what their religions teach.

    This particular religious person will gladly go on the record as being outraged at the writings of both Spencer Kimball and Michael Crook (the fuckwit who said that rape doesn’t exist). I will also express my complete sorrow and outrage that nobody intervened to help the girl who died, especially the authorities. [insert comment about brokenness of humanity]

  26. says

    I’m sorry, but the vast majority of religions do _not_ look down on harming others, at least according to their supposed Word of God. The Old Testament is one long tale of god-sponsored genocide, even after the Ten Commandments were laid down.

    In the New Testament, in addition to all the misogynist crap explicitly laid out by Jesus, Paul, and a variety of others, you have Peter indicating that all non-Christians must be killed (Acts 3:23), Paul condemning homosexuals (and others) to death (Romans 1), pretty much everyone condoning anti-Semitism…

    Passages actively encouraging barbaric, horrific, and truly appalling behaviour abound in the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran. This is how religions work – if you’re not with us, you’re against us. In the good old days, it was simpler to convert a population if you killed all the men and children above a certain age. So they did. This is the bloody genesis of most religions.

  27. Mr.Kosta says

    Disgusting. Atrocious. Monstrous. Absolutely deplorable and beyond redemption. I’m glad there aren’t many mormons here in Europe, otherwise I’d be advising my daughter (if I had one) not to get closer than 2 miles from one of them.

  28. Erin Winslow says

    Yeah, but then there would be nothing left of them! Come to think of it, that might not be so bad. . .

  29. says

    you have Peter indicating that all non-Christians must be killed (Acts 3:23), Paul condemning homosexuals (and others) to death (Romans 1),

    Those verses say no such thing. You are just making shit up.

  30. says

    When you believe that one day you can become a god or that wearing special underwear is necessary then I imagine it’s a small step to think that there is no such thing as rape.

  31. Raphael says

    I’ve thought for a long time that people should stop being surprised by the fact that there are some really horrible people in the world, but despite that, this really hit me like a hammer to the forehead. Wow.

    Based on his comments about not helping seriously injured people, I’d guess he’s simply a clinical sociopath, but then again, he does seem to empathise, in a way, with people of whom he thinks they’ve been unjustly treated – like Sandusky and Paterno – which wouldn’t really fit with being a sociopath.

    Anyway, perhaps people with a *very* dark sense of humor and enough skills might turn this into some kind of parody ad: “Hi. I’m Michael. I think that rape doesn’t exist, because if the woman is still alive afterwards, she didn’t fight to death. I think that you shouldn’t help people who are bleeding and begging for your help, or who are being brutally assaulted, not even by calling the cops or an ambulance. I think that marriages between black and white people are disgusting, and I hope that this trend of black and white people marrying each other won’t last. I think that Jerry Sandusky is a victim, while the boys whom he allegedly sodomized are not. And I’m a Mormon.”

  32. Smikey says

    We can have no doubt that this commentor (the CNN.com one, not you, of course) is a serial rapist, right?

  33. Smikey says

    I think it’s obvious that he thinks consensual nonmarital sex takes away your virtue. But his definition of ‘consensual’ seems to include absolutely everything that lets you stay alive. Sure, maybe there’s a grey area in there, where an unsuccessful struggle that results in a mere coma is still, on the balance, virtuous, but it’s still inferior to a fight to the death.

  34. Smikey says

    Yep. But if you’re a feminist who says that men should take responsibility for their actions by treating everyone like people, YOU hate men. The people who think that three inches of skirt length separate your Gandhis from your rapists? They don’t.

  35. Upright Ape says

    What I find even more disgusting is defenses of these heinous people posted on this very thread. “This is a ot ehat he actually meant”, or “it is not the religion, it is the people”.
    The apologists are totally blind. To them religion can never do anything wrong. Even if it is the maximum authority of a religion which has the following of over 3%tonight of the US population. Of course this never stops religion from taking taking credit when its followers do good things.

  36. says

    I don’t have the energy to express a thought more detailed than rage. So, here we go:

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!

  37. Jacob says

    Yep. His opinions are entirely the fault of the color of his skin, his gender, and the money he was born into. The decisions he made in life about not seeking truth, asking questions, and accepting a place of leadership amongst an organization that preaches these hateful things have no place on judging him. It’s all because he is “a privileged asshole.”

  38. Blitzgal says

    Here’s the thing. Religion IS people. It’s created and maintained by people. And the first quote by Kimball in this post falls directly in line with the Old Testament (Deuteronomy), where a betrothed woman raped in the city is stoned to death because she should have called out for help.

  39. Glodson says

    Wait… 26 years ago? When I read that crap from Kimball, I thought it was a bad, bad, bad case of values dissonance from closer to 200 years ago. It doesn’t excuse it at all, but still. The fact that it is so close to the modern Mormon Church is sickening.

    I’ve met a number of really nice Mormons over the years. Ones that I believe would reject this notion. Now I wonder if that belief was mistaken. Having an evil fuck like Kimball at the top, recently, makes Mormonism even more revolting to me. I hope those disgusting stayed with the minority of Mormons.

  40. Casimir says

    ignorance and a lack of empathy are the true culprits.

    Yes, and for the whole of human history, there has been no more efficient packaging for those two things than religion.

  41. Tom Singer says

    I don’t know. I think if you format it this way:

    “In a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where this is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

    it reads differently. I don’t see anything in this specific quote that indicates that Kimball thought that voluntary means not fighting to the death. Again, maybe he’s said other things that indicate that is his position. But, since I don’t know anything else he’s said, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that’s naive of me.

  42. Tom Singer says

    In case you’re including my response at #7 in the apologist category, I’d like to make clear that I think there are plenty of things that religions, and religious people, do wrong. And, in fact, that I don’t like Kimball’s position in either Jen’s or my interpretation (although I’m inferring that he’s referring to “unapproved” consensual sex as the means of losing your virtue; I suppose it’s possible that he means it’s better to die defending yourself against rape than it is to live as a used car salesman, in which case, thumbs up from me, but that seems like it’s going a little far with the generous interpretation).

  43. Azkyroth says

    What doubt, and why do you think he would deserve the benefit of it if there were any?

    You’re grasping at straws to defend him. WHY?

  44. butterfly5906 says

    You missed the best quote in that article.

    “If I had a daughter and she were attacked, I’d rather she die defending her honor than live tarnished. She’d be spoiled goods at that point…”

    I’m not generally in favor of forced sterilization, but here it seems appropriate.

  45. Jaime says

    Between this shit and the Penn State scandal, where’s a real life Lisbeth Salander when you need her?

  46. says

    heddle, these verses can be looked up, you know? Peter and Paul absolutely advocated death for the following:

    Acts 3:23 | King James Version (KJV)

    23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

    Romans 1 | King James Version (KJV)
    29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  47. Tom Singer says

    Azkyroth, specifically, I doubt that he rises to the level of evil that would say that everyone that survives a rape was asking to be raped.

    And Kimball deserves the benefit of that doubt because I don’t think that I should characterize anyone as that level of evil when all I know about them is that they’re the former head of the Mormon church.

    I don’t see it as grasping at straws to defend someone. I see it as not having a knee-jerk reaction influenced by my distaste for religion (of which I have plenty, incidentally).

  48. Tom Singer says

    And, in the spirit of favorable readings, when I reread Jen’s original post, she’s not necessarily as critical of Kimball’s position as Crook’s. So maybe I was off base in my interpretation. Jen, care to comment?

  49. freemage says

    Okay, I checked this out, and heddle’s correct:

    1: 1 Romans definitely doesn’t call for anyone’s execution. It does suggest that lesbianism is God’s curse for men being faithless, which is good for a giggle, though.

    2: Acts 3:23, while a bit cloudier in meaning (what I’m getting in most online translations is that unbelievers [or the souls thereof] among ‘the people’ will ‘be destroyed’). Contextually, it seems to be more of a call for banishing or shunning heretics and unbelievers, not killing them outright. Alternately, it could be read to mean that God will destroy their souls (unmaking them), presumably as final judgement.

    There’s plenty of hateful, misanthropic BS in that little black book; no reason to claim verses that don’t fall into that category.

  50. Upright Ape says

    No, it is not “better” to die trying to defend your honor. In fact it is a terrible thing to say and I resent the idea. It puts the blame squarely on the victim. When you are the victim of violence the most important thing is to survive and you shouldn’t be punished for it. But I am not surprised in the least at the misogyny of the mormon church.

  51. Upright Ape says

    This is precisely the “logic” the old testament uses to demand rape victims marry their attackers.

  52. Tom Singer says

    I’m not sure I understand. Given what I know about Kimball (which is that he said the quote, that he was the leader of the Mormon church, and that he died 26 years ago) and given what I know about the Mormon church (which is fairly little), I don’t ascribe that particular level of evilness to him.

  53. Tom Singer says

    Not better than what? My argument at 7 is that it’s not clear to me that Kimball was saying that it’s better to die defending your virtue than to stop short of death in defending your virtue.

  54. anthonyallen says

    I commented on that a couple of days ago, when I first heard about it. I can’t remember what I said verbatum, but it went something along the lines of

    You, sir, are a monster.

    I am so glad that my ex-wife got ex-communicated for divorcing me, so that my girls don’t have to suffer this filth that you call “scripture.”

    Would it surprise you to know that my comment is no longer there?

    -A-

  55. Azkyroth says

    Don’t you think that’s what he would have said if that’s what he meant?

    Why are you privileging him?

  56. Azkyroth says

    Why not just look at what he actually said, without fishing around for some way to interpret it as not-quite-so-bad?

  57. Tom Singer says

    I am looking at what he actually said, and I think my interpretation is a reasonable way to read it. If you have anything to support that he meant something different, I’m willing to change my reading. But until then, I’m not going to assume that he’s that evil.

  58. Tom Singer says

    Well, I suppose we can have this conversation in more than one place. I don’t think his language is clearly one way or the other. I can see how it could be read the way you’re interpreting it. I can see how it could be read the way I’m interpreting it.

    I could just as well ask you, if your interpretation is correct, why didn’t he just say “We will condemn you for being raped unless you fight to the death to prevent it. If you survive a rape, you must have wanted it, you filthy slut”? I mean, that would be clear and unambiguous. Presumably, if that’s really his view, he would want to be clear about it, since he wants Mormon women to be virtuous. He should explicitly tell them that they’re going to hell if they allow themselves to be raped. He doesn’t do that.

  59. Azkyroth says

    Except that would neither be pretentious, officious phrasing, nor close enough to plausible deniability for people bending over backwards to be generous to him to bridge the gap.

  60. Azkyroth says

    The actual wording, corrected for strategic circumspection; the way it was taken by the others quoted in Jen’s article; pattern-recognition from misogynistic, authoritarian conservative religions.

  61. Jack Pantalones says

    Googling reveals that this guy has been a large-scale troll for several years. At one point he was internet-famous for having used Craigslist’s “casual encounters” section to pose as a young woman looking for hookups, then put photos, e-mails and other personal details of the men who responded up on a website denouncing them as “perverts.”

    He even ended up on FOX News, getting yelled at by Sean Hannity for running a site dedicated to lambasting US soldiers, calling them “cowards” and “pukes” and asking what kind of moron would give his life for a country.

    He also threatens people with frivolous lawsuits, is a Holocaust denier, calls for interracial marriage to be outlawed, brags that he will never help anyone who is hurt or dying or being attacked, etc.

    He clearly has a deep-seated need to be offensive. He causes people to hate him and then feeds on that hatred. Mormonism is the least of his problems. I think the best thing to do is to forget about him.

  62. Cava says

    I know it’s not the right thing to do, but right now I want to punch this guy really hard in the face. Btw, I don’t believe “punching in the face” exists. When there are incidents that are classified as “punching an illiterate mysoginist rightwing nutcase in the face”, what usually ends up happening is that the “victim” tends to “forget” to mention pissing me off with mind-bogglingly msysoginist comments.

    People like that should think about what they’re about to say, then shut their fucking mouth.

  63. Tom Singer says

    Well, Jen quoted 1 guy who interpreted his words that way. One guy who was born in 1978, apparently, making him about 7 years old when Kimball died. You want to hold Kimball responsible for that? As for actual wording, the quote was taken from a book; strategic circumspection that may or may not result in him saying “hey, people are taking this the wrong way” is not going to change what was published. Pattern recognition is probably your strongest point, but it’s awfully thin. I’m not going to condemn the guy for that.

    But, given that I’m investing so much time in a conversation about the guy, I figured I might as well go ahead and see what Google could tell me about what he actually felt about rape.

    “Victims of rape or sexual abuse frequently experience serious trauma and unnecessary feelings of guilt. Church officers should handle such cases with sensitivity and concern, reassuring such victims that they, as victims of the evil acts of others, are not guilty of sin, helping them to overcome feelings of guilt and to regain their self-esteem and their confidence in personal relationships.

    “Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin ….

    “Young victims of sexual abuse are likewise guilty of no sin where they are too young to be accountable for evaluating the significance of the sexual behavior. Even where acts are committed with the apparent consent of a young person, that consent may be ignored or qualified for purposes of moral responsibility where the aggressor occupied a position of authority or power over the young victim.”

    That’s from the First Presidency Letter to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and Other Priesthood Leadership, dated Feb 7, 1985 (found here, which is an article from the March 1992 issue of New Era, the “Official monthly publication for youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, so read it with that in mind). Note that Kimball was the president of the church until his death on Nov 5, 1985, so it’s reasonable to assume that these are his views.

    There is some “maybe you were asking for it”, but it certainly does not presume that to be the case if you survive a rape. Given the new information that I know about Kimball, I’m going to adjust my opinion of him. It’s a moderate notch down. But it’s not worthy, to me, of raging against a dead guy. (Although I think most of the rage here is aimed, justifiably, at Crook.)

    That said, in poking around the internet, I came across a number of sexual abuse survivors that have said they were treated by their particular Mormon church in a manner consistent with your interpretation (complete with pointing to the original quote), although they were rebutted by plenty of survivors who say that their particular Mormon church does not take that interpretation. I’ll join you in condemning the former.

  64. Wade says

    My wife, April DeConick, a religious studies scholar at Rice University, recently published a book that relates to this subject called “Holy Misogyny.” A basic idea of it being that when early Christians were debating issues regarding gender, the side that won were not only misogynistic but they ended up making their misogyny sacred. And if you have a group of people who consider a text perfect and sacred, and that text is misogynistic, how much harder does sexism become to fight?

  65. Andy says

    I agree with #31, this guy thrives on the hate directed at him. He is probably very lonely and craves for any kind of attention – being an offensive fuckwit seems to work very well in this respect.
    I would bet that he would start looking for another hobby if people would start ignoring him.

  66. Aimee says

    Is there a cached version of this? it seems to have been scrubbed from his site, at least as far as I have been able to see

  67. says

    LOOKING TO THE MORMONS to explain Judeo-Christian theology (Mormons are neither Christians or Jews) is almost as stupid (although, not quite) as looking to PLANNED PARENTHOOD for valid declarations on human reproductive morality, or human sexuality.

    Buckle up folks…the Mormons, or the atheists, can take us to an even lower rung of humanity.

    We haven’t reached bottom yet.

    Settle down Smithites, the atheists will win this race~

  68. P Smith says

    I have. In Canada, about 20 years ago, a woman in Yellowknife (very far north) was raped after meeting someone in a bar. At the trial the inept judge criticized her for wearing a t-shirt that depicted two polar bears copulating, insinuating that she brought the rape on herself by wearing the shirt. I’d post a link if I could find it, I don’t like posting apocryphal stuff.

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