Another “solution”

A Christian football player from Texas (obviously, that’s all you need to be fully qualified to provide answers to everything) offers his answer to the problem of school shootings.

No, you absolute numpty. It’s the guns. European countries have a higher divorce rate than the US, and don’t have anywhere near the number of mass shootings we do. Mongolia has a lower rate, and when was the last time you read about schools getting shot up there? There isn’t even a hint of a correlation.

This “marriage is a covenant” nonsense is a tool evangelicals use to trap and dominate women. It’s an ugly, manipulative tactic.

Ken Ham loves it.

Here’s an excellent summary of that exercise in patriarchal thinking, in case you never heard of John MacArthur or The Master’s University and Seminary.

See, for example, yesterday’s Houston Chronicle article, which details how for decades in the Southern Baptist Convention “survivors and others who reported [sexual] abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action . . . even if it meant convicted molesters continued in ministry.”

And for another example, see the recent New York Times article about a conservative pastor in Fort Smith, Arkansas who was pushed out of his pulpit because he used the acronym “BLM” in his blog, and because he refused to head down the QAnon rabbit hole with his congregants.

One of the best sources on scandal-a-minute evangelicalism is the Roys Report. Established by investigative journalist Julie Roys, the Report “is a Christian media outlet, reporting the unvarnished truth about what’s happening in the Christian community so the church can be reformed and restored.” Determined to expose the seamy side of what she refers to as the “evangelical industrial complex,” the intrepid, persistent, and apparently fearless Roys has done remarkable work in exposing appalling truths about evangelical luminaries and institutions such as Mark Driscoll, Ravi Zacharias, Hillsong, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University, James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel, Matt Chandler and Acts 29, and Thomas White and Cedarville University (about which we also have written a great deal – here’s one example).

But near the top of Roys’ investigative hit parade is John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and chancellor emeritus of The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS). In the past 27 months, Roys has written (I think I have the count right) 47 posts on MacArthur and his institutions (not to mention additional podcasts). In these articles she has detailed MacArthur’s claims that there is no pandemic (it’s a Satanic deception, which would be news to the families of the over 1 million Americans who have died from COVID) and his church’s and schools’ failure to report COVID cases; she has highlighted MacArthur’s huge salaries and wealth, blatant nepotism, and determination to keep financial details of his institutions a secret; and, she has reported accusations of plagiarism against the chancellor emeritus.

On top of all that corruption, MacArthur also believes “marriage is a covenant”…or, in other words, marriage is a prison for women.

This spring, Roys has focused on how MacArthur and his minions, taking a page out of the Southern Baptist Convention playbook, have a history of minimizing and covering up sexual abuse. Here a few examples:

And there is more. And all of this is in keeping with what John Street, chair of the graduate program in biblical counseling at TMUS, has taught his students:

  • A Christian wife should endure abuse by a non-Christian husband in the same way that missionaries endure persecution.
  • By enduring abuse a wife may win her husband to Christ.
  • When both spouses are Christian, the wife should rely on church processes, as government authorities must be the absolute last resort.
  • Domestic violence shelters are terrible places, as they teach women to be assertive.
  • The only grounds for divorce are unrepentant adultery and abandonment.

I watched my grandmother suffer for years in an abusive, broken marriage, and I don’t think she ever tried to get out of it. I think the last decades of her life would have been much happier if she could have escaped, although it probably would have accelerated my grandfather’s decline.


  1. littlejohn says

    It seems to me that if you can’t divorce your lousy spouse, you might be moved to shoot him/her. I think his solution might prove counterproductive.

  2. charley says

    We just need to eliminate fatherless households, mental health issues, racism, bullying, social alienation, poor firearms training and anger management problems, not guns.

  3. wzrd1 says

    Those types loathe saying that stupidity in front of me, as I’ve never suffered intentional fools well at all. Although, my wife discouraged my driving them to self-harm…
    “So, single parent households generate unstable murderers? Wow, so humanity’s natural state, where Dad died in the war killed off the rest of humanity! How’s it feel to be extinct? Yes, you’re extinct, your being brain dead is a key symptom.”

    Dad grew up in a South Philly row home, his dead dying when he was young. Mom grew up in Tasker Homes, aka “the projects”, her dad, a successful dry cleaner, dying of TB in her youth. They had peers with similar stories, since antibiotics were a thing for the future, heart disease had no real treatments and well, little really had real treatments. Oddly, no shootings, few stabbings, fights were plentiful, but kids and all.
    Oddly, to this idiot’s POV, they were homicidal maniacs, since what’s the real difference between dad being absent by death or divorce, other than spotty support payments that didn’t exist back then?

    I’ll also recall the gentle reader to the past some more. Remember the rise and fall of the aMoral Majority? divorces were evil, family values are critical and something about a flying sausage or something being worshiped.
    They fell after a series of sexual scandals that belied the espoused beliefs. As loving a Christian as a German soldier asking for more Zyklon B to drop into the room full of Jewish women and children, who also identified as Christian.

    As for Street and MacArthur, just keep the cops distracted while I introduce them to my one ounce ball peen hammer. Got some nails to drive and it’ll take a while…*

    *For the Imperial system challenged and hammer challenged, a one ounce ball peen hammer is also commonly referred to as a jeweler’s hammer – can’t even drive one of my ten thumb nails anywhere with that. But, they’re good at forming soft industrial metals like gold and silver, rubbish at forming platinum and are only good for making soft noises against steel. Compared to my ten pound hammer, which is excellent at driving toenails into the ground of the inattendant user.

    ~Life: That period of one’s existence one spends training one’s computer dictionary.

  4. PaulBC says

    If you start with the assumption that the availability of repeating firearms can’t possibly be the problem*, then any problem you identify will be either secondary or irrelevant.

    A metaphor just popped into my mind, and since I didn’t know the actual term I had to look it up, but it makes me think of a solar coronagraph: look into the telescope and try to explain all those wavy lines of light. At least astronomers know that they’ve intentionally blocked out the primary cause.

    Gun “rights advocates” either don’t know or don’t care that there is a big, obvious reason that many more people are killed by guns in the US than any comparable nation. They have placed a blinder over that and it’s not coming off.

    *Even Sarah Winchester had this one figured out, despite her eccentric solution.

  5. PaulBC says

    I like Paul Krugman’s framing in a recent NYT column:

    “I know it’s a hopeless effort to say this, but imagine the reaction if a prominent liberal politician were to declare that the reason the United States has a severe social problem that doesn’t exist elsewhere is that Americans are bad people. We’d never hear the end of it. But when a Republican says it, it barely makes a ripple.”

  6. PaulBC says

    I am also being way too generous in @5. If you start with a solution like “women need to be subservient members of a patriarchal household” then you will look for all kinds of problems that fit this solution. The mysterious phenomenon of high speed projectiles lodging themselves in soft tissue resulting in death is a problem meriting some solution. Hence, if we scan down the list of preferred solutions in priority order, we are sure to find one there.

    Another point is that while liberal ninnies like me are interested in comparisons between the US and other nations, whether it’s the pandemic or gun violence, good patriots know that “American exceptionalism” means we do everything better by definition. An answer that suggests we are doing something worse is unacceptable, so there’s simply no need to compare.

    Again I’m overthinking it. These idiots are barely aware of the existence of the rest of the world unless we’re bombing it.

  7. microraptor says

    Don’t most “broken homes” in the US come from the astronomically high rate at which young brown men get arrested and thrown into prison?

  8. says

    You can bet both men are idiotic misogynist pigs who don’t give a hoot about the health and well being of an actual human being which is what women are exactly!

  9. raven says

    Guy is a total idiot and would be lying if he was smart enough to know what the truth is.
    Fundie xians have higher divorce rates than normal people!!! Data i.e Facts.

    Evangelical Christians have higher-than-average divorce rates, new report shows. Summary: Despite their strong pro-family values, evangelical Christians have higher-than-average divorce rates — in fact, being more likely to be divorced than Americans who claim no religion, according to a new study.Feb 5, 2014

    Evangelical Christians have higher-than-average divorce … › releases › 2014/02

    Being an oogedy boogedy superstitious idiot doesn’t mean you will have a marriage that lasts.
    In fact, it means you have a higher divorce rate than normal people.

    Did I mention that fundie xians have a higher divorce rate than normal people?

  10. says

    To both men who seems to be enjoying giving such putrid talks — no thank you! I rather stay single and in freedom than find myself a helpless brainwashed punching bag in a patriarchal prison.

  11. raven says

    That the fundie perversion of xianity is now pushing something they just made up, covenant marriage, is because their society, culture, and families are all dysfunctional and horrible places to be. Fundie xians also have much higher levels of child sexual abuse than normal people.
    As the OP notes, there are high levels of child sexual abuse in the fundie churces. The “youth pastor” is almost synonymous with “child predator” and future convicted child molester.

    From “Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches”, by Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993 p. 73:

    “A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father.
    But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles.
    This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is *whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes*. (Brown and Bohn, 1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein et al, 1973; Van
    Leeuwen, 1990). (emphasis in original)

    Patriarchial complementarian family structures are predictive of child sexual abuse.

    Rather than fix their dysfunctional cultures, the fundie xian solution is to enslave women and make them exist under horrible conditions they can’t escape from.

  12. silvrhalide says

    Wonder if this halfwit ever said anything–anything at all–to Ray Rice. Or any of the multitude of pro & college football players who beat women, sometimes publicly. Asking because the football industry seems to be exceptionally eager to forgive abusers, whether it’s a football player knocking out his then-fiancee now wife or an asshole who tortures animals for fun and money.

    But props to Gayle for calling BS on the “it was only one time.”
    Sure. And the only one time that happened to be caught on video. Ray Rice doesn’t seem particularly shocked about the fact, that hey, WTF, my fiancee is unconscious, maybe I went too far, maybe I should call 911? NOPE. He just hauls her out of the elevator, business as usual.

    I find it interesting that American society in general and football in particular is so quick to forgive Michael Vick and yet so quick to be willing to destroy his “unable to be rehabilitated” pit bulls. Clearly the wrong creature was going to be put down. I’d also like to point out that Vick personally strangled & electrocuted some of the dogs that were killed in Bad Newz Kennels. You have to be all kinds of sick to willingly do something like that.
    “He paid his dues.” Did the dead dogs get a check?
    But at least there’s some pushback.

    “The one stat you can directly correlate to criminals” isn’t divorce. It’s animal cruelty and intimate partner abuse. The link between animal cruelty and abuse and serial killers/mass murderers is well documented. Lest anyone forget, the Buffalo killer, before he shot up a supermarket and had plans to shoot other locations/victims, posted pictures of animals he killed in particularly cruel and graphic ways. Maybe we should be looking more at that. And being more supportive of women who try to leave. “well, why didn’t she leave?” Maybe because it’s really freaking hard? In NYS, if you have jumped through all the hoops, you can get a fake address where your mail goes to Albany and then gets sent to your real address… for six weeks. Protection! In the meantime, you have to put your real name on any rental application/lease. And cops do not enforce orders of protection unless you shove a boot up their lazy polyester-clad asses.

  13. Larry says

    The nutjobs are so obviously shook by the murders of 19 little children and two adults that they are shotgunning (pun intended) any neuron that passes through their jebus-soaked brain into the ether as a excuse as to why gun control isn’t the solution to murders by guns. So far, we’ve have a “woke” society, lack of church attendance, the existence of LBGT people, gay marriage, multiple doors into the schools, and, now, fatherless homes (I probably missed some). of course, none of these had anything to do with the most recent mass murders but that doesn’t stop them from vomiting out these so-called reasons.

    For those of us with functional brains who have even minimal skills is recognizing patterns, the single thing the mass murders have had in come is the presence of high powered semi- and full-auto guns and lots and lots of ammunition.

    God dammned fuckers, each and every one!

  14. says

    Asking because the football industry seems to be exceptionally eager to forgive abusers,…

    That’s nothing. Wrestling seems to be eager to forgive and take back, for instance, Hulk Hogan in spite of his racial remarks he gave about his daughter marrying a black man that got him suspended from WWE in the first place. He’s so famous that they couldn’t help but forgive his wrongful acts and bring him back into the WWE spotlight again. Of course it’s isn’t always for case for all wrestlers who got caught committing vile acts. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka ended up going to prison for beating his wife and referee Danny Davis ended up suspended for life after he was caught engaging in corrupt acts in the ring.

  15. Walter Solomon says

    Owosso Harpist @15

    Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka ended up going to prison for beating his wife

    Snuka actually beat his wife to death, murdered her, and served no time for it.

  16. silvrhalide says

    As if beating a mistress–or any woman, animal or child–is so much better than beating a wife to death. I guess marriage really does have some legal protections after all./sarcasm

    No offense Owosso & Walter, but you’re kind of making my point here.

  17. says

    So divorce causes mass shootings. On that basis by now I should have committed a couple of mass shootings. There must be some other reason. Oh, that’s right where I am you require a police records check and a license to own a gun. Handguns have more restrictive licensing requirements and assault rifles are banned. In the 18 years before they were banned in 1996 there were 13 mass shootings. Since 1996 there has only been one.

  18. unclefrogy says

    well yes those steps would go a long way toward solving the problems of guns and gun violence there are afew other things that could be done along those lines but none of them will even be tried in any thing more then a halfhearted and ineffectual way. The reason is it would cost real money probably even require a tax increase. Leaving the gun laws mostly unchanged with only token modifications for “the voters” would help American Industry to continue to make profits that is what politicians have as priority
    “It’s The Economy Stupid”
    it is only minority people and the working class the bare the brunt of the mass killing, who kill each other and them selves every f’n day and only every once in a while kill in bigger groups of the unarmed because they were abused, broke, bullied their whole lives.alienated without a place to turn to for any kind of help without even the idea that there is any hope for them at all. Ignorance on so many levels .
    things might be a little different if it was “the ruling classes” that were being shot down but it is not, mostly it is just murder and or suicide and it hardly makes ripple in the news cycle.

  19. Reginald Selkirk says

    Interesting map, but the color scale leaves something to be desired.

  20. Akira MacKenzie says

    A Christian wife should endure abuse by a non-Christian husband in the same way that missionaries endure persecution.

    By enduring abuse a wife may win her husband to Christ.

    As a listener of God Awful Movies, these are themes that appear in several Christian propaganda films: Domestic abuse is the fault of the woman because she wasn’t “Christian” and submissive enough to her husband. They should silently or demurely accept their abuse in hopes that their piety changes their abuser’s attitude.

    I wonder how many women these stupidity got killed?

  21. answersingenitals says

    I should have been more explicit: a strong argument for polyandry

  22. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@28

    in the same way that missionaries endure persecution

    Interesting. I misread this as “endure persecution from missionaries” and had to go back and reread it after seeing the rest of your explanation.

    “Missionary” immediately makes me think “oppression of indigenous people” (like Junipero Serra and the California missions). Though I’m sure I didn’t think this when I was a kid in Catholic grade school, that was a long time ago. It is very odd to me to even consider a narrative in which the missionaries are the ones being persecuted. They’re the ones showing up where they’d not wanted. Like the idiot who got himself killed on North Sentinel Island. It’s like I crash a party and then start telling everyone what music to play. Of course, I won’t be welcome. And if I show up in a strange land where I appear to pose a threat, then I should expect to get killed.

    Not that an abusive husband is in the same position as indigenous people having a foreign religion foisted on them. I am not sure what metaphor is appropriate here. This just sounds like codependency with a religious spin.

  23. Johnathon Wright says

    One must note that the divorce rate among protestant evangelicals is Very high. Higher than the national average, the last time I looked.