America, Sexual Assault Survivors are Listening. What are We Saying?

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One of the blessings of the work I do is that people turn to me when they don’t believe they can turn to anyone else. They allow me close proximity to their pain. It is a holy place, and even though it is a tremendous honor to be allowed into the deepest recesses of people’s hearts and stories, this also means getting a front row seat to the incredible damage so many live with.

Recently I heard from a woman who I’ll call Emily. A few years ago Emily was assaulted by a stranger.

She has shared this information with almost no one close to her because of the trauma and undeserved shame she carries. Emily suffers alone every single day and through many sleepless nights, because someone else saw her as an object and ignored her consent and disregarded her humanity.

And yet as horrific as that day was for her, it was only the beginning of the nightmare she’s had to endure.

There have been more fresh nightmares this past year.

This year she’s had to hear friends and co-workers and family members openly defend the words and behavior of Donald Trump, oblivious to the way these things silently wound her and force her deeper and deeper into isolation and sadness, and how their words assault her all over again.

She’s had to hear people like Rush Limbaugh make the issue of consent the punchline to some twisted joke.

She’s seen an alleged Christian leader like Jerry Falwell Jr. say that he would endorse Trump even if he had a history of sexual assault.

She’s listened to other women defend the President and give guys a pass and blame victims and openly campaign for a confessed sexual predator.

Over and over and over she’s had to hear that she doesn’t matter. Over and over she’s been told that she’s expendable. Over and over she’s been reminded that her pain is inconsequential.

Maybe she’s had to hear this from you too.

Maybe it’s been your Tweets and Facebook tirades and coffee break conversations and flippant comments that she’s had to endure; bleeding internally, suffering in silence, grieving anew.

I suspect this may not matter to many of you, but I hope you’ll think about it.

Emilys are everywhere.

People you know and love and worship and work with have survived sexual assault, whether you know it or not. They are in your kitchen, your staff room, your classroom, your church pew.

They are listening to you and they are being brutalized again, because people they know and love and worship with and work with were okay elevating a sexual predator to the Presidency and dismissing their trauma and excusing away rape culture as just “guys being guys”. I wonder if that’s something you are okay with.

I wonder if Emily matters to you.

I wonder if you knew Emily was listening to you,  if you would have still said what you’ve said or posted what you’ve posted. I wonder if it would make any difference at all.  

This year America, and this Republican Administration specifically, are speaking loudly to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence about their worth, their pain, their importance, their credibility.

And honestly, I shudder to imagine how harmful those words are.

To all the Emily’s out there: You matter. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are not defined by what has been done to you. You are not alone. We see you. We hear you.

Be encouraged today.

 

 

If you are the survivor of sexual assault, here are some resources where you can find support, encouragement, and care. You don’t need to carry this alone. 
RAINN
National Sexual Assault Hotline
EROC (End Rape on Campus)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Safe Horizon
INCITE (For Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans people of Color)
On Eagle’s Wings Ministries
Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ)
NCLR Nation Center for Lesbian Rights 
Not Alone
Safe Helpline (Victim support for members of Military)

 

Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.

 

146 thoughts on “America, Sexual Assault Survivors are Listening. What are We Saying?

  1. As long as PEOPLE choose to stay in poor me / victim mode there will be others who can and will profit from their pain and self pity. We all need to go on the Heroes Journey to take our power back.

    • I believe you will see these ladies who have been assulted once again rise in the next 4 years become Warriors fighting back on the Front lines. These ladies will be made new through Christ love and his beautiful healing touch. So pay close attention you will see your heros. 🙂

  2. The average male person doesn’t realize how deep the pain, how heavy the burden, how horrific the guilt and shame that rape and abuse victims carry, this blog helps us understand all that in a meaningful way.
    Thank you John

    • Ellis you are correct; the average male don’t understand. But I and many others do, I have from first memory to age 17 been raped and molested by many men who act and speak like Donald Trump. Like female victims I to was called liar, told I wanted it, told I asked for or allowed it, was punished for it by those who should have protected me. I suffered with this many years after, sometimes I still do. As a man I do not accept Donald Trumps words, actions, or excuses; it is not locker room banter, and as a man I do not accept nor will I tolerate it. Their excuse that all men talk this way is false, and also unacceptable. I do not talk or act this way, nor did my father, or my father in law. We respect, and honor women. I expect nothing less than respect and honor from my sons in law for my daughters. If they spoke or acted in this manner I would have their heads.

      • I’m so sorry you had to go through this Daniel. You are a survivor and so am I! You are very courageous. God bless and hug hug.

  3. How in the world can people say they follow a non violent, loving Jesus support such a candidate? This so reminds me of another time when people blindly followed a leader, making excuses for him. I used to wonder how God’s people could expel Jews (God’s chosen people) from their churches and close their eyes while they were being annihilated. And here we are defending a man who promotes violence, disrespect and hatred, against women, immigrants, and pretty much anyone whom he chooses.
    How on earth can we call ourseves followers of Jesus?? Gandhi once said, ” I don’t like Christians but I do love your Jesus”.
    That is how I feel in these days. I don’t like or respect “Christians”, but I do love my Jesus who tells me that the greatest commandment is to love others as I love myself. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe women and others who support Trump don’t love themselves or understand how Much they are loved!

    • I think Hillary Clinton is totally corrupt and would be a bad president.

      Could it be that there are legitimate reasons to vote against her and predatorial husband?

      Both candidates have serious character flaws. I’m voting for Trump based on his policies, especially because of Supreme Court nominations.

      You’re at the right place if you don’t like Christians. JohnP attacks them every day.

      • Benny you call Bill Clinton Predatorial; what exactly do you call Donald Trump? You may vote for Trump because of his policy’s but he is still a predator. Your comment holds no logic.

        • Nothing at all. It’s one of his two obsessions: hatred of Hillary and abortion.

          Benny asked for proof that Trump is a racist. Here’s some from The Atlantic:

          Donald Trump’s Attacks on the Rights of Minority Voters
          If supporters carry out his directive to monitor the polls, the election could turn out to be the perfect test case for voter-intimidation lawsuits.

          Trump is essentially asking his followers to get together and harass voters in the guise of checking for voter fraud. (Conservatives for years have insisted that “voter impersonation”—that is, in-person voting by people claiming to be other voters—is a danger to democracy. Every serious study confirms that impersonation is virtually unknown anywhere in the country.)

          And it’s not just any voter fraud. In a subsequent radio interview, he clarified that “other communities” in his Ambridge talk referred to Philadelphia, a majority-minority city. That description wasn’t really necessary, though: Anyone who doesn’t know what that phrase—or “certain areas” or “some other place”—really means has slept through all of American history. In Pennsylvania and Michigan, Trump’s supporters may very well believe they can now besiege, clog, and disrupt minority-area polls for one day, and thus shift the states’ electors to Trump.

          These threats come at a fraught moment for voting rights. November 8 will be—as Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, has pointed out—the first presidential election held since the conservative majority on the Supreme Court gutted the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Because of the court’s decision, the U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn federal election monitors—which it had planned to deploy in 11 states—from all but a few areas. It’s also the first one since the rash of post-2010 Republican-sponsored “voter ID” laws passed; these measures are bound to—indeed, are seemingly designed to—cause confusion, conflict, and litigation under the best of circumstances.

          But Trump’s attacks aren’t just threatening to minority voters. Or to the integrity of the political system, which should protect the franchise of all American voters. If put into practice, his calls for election “monitoring” could also open his supporters up to legal action. This election could prove to be the perfect test case for voter-intimidation lawsuits.

          Let’s be clear: Every campaign uses volunteer poll watchers, and has a legal right to do so. “It’s very common to have people at the polls,” election-law guru Rick Hasen told The Washington Post. “What’s different is that he is couching it in an incendiary way by saying ‘Crooked Hillary’ wants to steal the election. That seems to be an invitation to go and make trouble.” A poll watcher—I’ve been one—keeps track of who has voted, relays the names to campaign headquarters, and may sometimes report irregularities to election officials or party lawyers. A traditional poll watcher, however, does not directly challenge voters—especially not based on skin color. That is against the law.

          Also unacceptable is posing as law-enforcement officers and demanding voters’ IDs, sending out intimidating mailings to minority voters, posting misleading or intimidating signs, or standing at the polls to challenge minority voters’ rights to a ballot. These aren’t hypothetical tactics: Over the past 30 years, the Republican National Committee has been linked to all of these unsavory practices. As part of a long-running lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee, the RNC signed a binding “consent decree” in 1982 promising to stop them. Before the 2012 election, the RNC went to court and claimed that because the United States has an African American president, minority voter suppression is no longer a problem. They also argued that laws like the Help America Vote Act, which is designed to streamline registration and voting, make voter fraud more likely, and thus their so-called “ballot security” programs were needed. The Third Circuit held, however, that the RNC is still bound by its settlement agreement. If the RNC does not violate the agreement this year, it will expire in 2017. If it does, it will be extended for another eight years.

          Thus, Trump’s voter-fraud alarms could put his party at risk. It’s no secret that, in many places, the Trump campaign is relying on the national committee’s ground operations to get out the vote. So if groups or individuals affiliated with the campaign support voter-intimidation efforts, they may expose the RNC to new lawsuits, further litigation, and years of court supervision.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/trump-election-intimidation-minority-voters/504014/?utm_source=atlfb

    • Good points Alice, but Jewish people don’t attend Churches. They attend Temples or Synagogues. In my opinion, Trump is too much like Hitler. I really believe that Trump should be evaluated for having the disorder of Bipolar.

      • Rev. HeidiAnne, He clearly has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I’ve been thinking he displays symptoms of schizophrenia, rather than Bi-Polar Disorder. All that sniffing and stalking is very symptomatic of cocaine use.

        But it could be rapid cycling Bi-Polar. Certainly the grandiose thinking is an example of that. And that the rules of decency just don’t apply to him , in his mind.

  4. First of all I am not a Trump fan. At all. I do not condone the actions and antics of either candidate. They are both disgusting. But please let’s not forget that as an attorney out of law school Hillary defended a rapist that she basically knew was guilty of raping a 12 year old girl and later joked about it. That woman has equally suffered more trauma this week. Where do we draw the line?

    • Ah, Deborah, did you do any proper research about that? Hillary was a public defender at the time, and although she requested to be excused from the case, she was ORDERED to defend him by the judge. Here is a helpful article: http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-freed-child-rapist-laughed-about-it/
      FYI, this is not me telling you to vote for Hillary Clinton, this is me pointing out the major flaws in the argument that puts Clinton and Trump as equals, in ANY sense of the word. I know it’s easy to believe rhetoric, rather than fact, but if you are going to dislike Hillary Clinton, at least make sure you base your opinion on something actually true.

    • Deborah, we can draw the line when someone says, ‘I can do whatever I want because I am rich and powerful’. Hillary Clinton, as an experienced public servant, has learned how and when to listen to others. Showing discernment means weighing everything. Donald Trump has always been about my way or the highway. He doesn’t work well with others- unless they agree with him. As well, he has not had to work well with others because he is always the boss in everything he does.

    • She was a public defender, they made a plea deal, she never laughed at the victim. The prosecution allowed him a deal, they didn’t work their case, its those lawyers and cops who are to blame for his plea to a lesser charge. He did more time than Brock Turner, are you mad at Brock Turner’s defense attorney or at the judge who sentenced him? That victim didn’t have to endure trial like Brock Turner’s victim. If it actually went to trial the guy would have gotten off completely. Public defenders have an awful job, but we need them. It very tragic but Trump parading her around certainly isn’t helping her either, parading those 4 assault victims around for his own gain is using them. Good lord, he’s such a creep.

      • Not to mention the laughter was forty years later and she was laughing at herself for being so naive as to believe in lie dectectors etc.

        Please google this article:

        Top 10 Hillary Clinton Myths Debunked

        LEA GROVER
        So here’s a helpful guide to the top 10 myths you may have heard about Hillary Clinton, to help you make your decision when November 8 comes.

        1. Hillary Clinton shared state secrets through her private email server.
        In short, no, this isn’t true. But it is complicated.

        One thing that sucks about being secretary of state (or president, for that matter) is that your job literally runs 24/7. Of course, you can’t be in the office around the clock. So every secretary of state since the smartphone became accessible has had one. Colin Powell had one. Condoleezza Rice had one. And they all used them to keep doing their job after the office was closed for the day. And all of them used unsecured servers, because all of them took their Blackberries home, in order to answer emails with state department employees and dignitaries abroad in different time zones.

        What made Hillary Clinton’s different from her predecessors was that she knew it was insecure. In fact, she asked the NSA to give her a secure server, just to be on the safe side. And the NSA said no. They weren’t set up for things like that, and they didn’t want to take the time, so they told her it would be fine. Hillary Clinton wasn’t so sure, though. In a time when information hacks of the U.S. government by China, Russia, and other potential threats were becoming increasingly present threats, Hillary Clinton decided not to use the State Department server and decided instead to use the server the Secret Service set up for her husband after he left the White House. This is a secure server, it’s just not the same secure server. And while the State Department was hacked, Hillary’s private server wasn’t. So what the question boiled down to is “Was Hillary Clinton committing a crime?”

        After millions and millions of our tax dollars were spent trying to answer this question, the answer was no. She didn’t commit a crime. But it was improper to unilaterally decide to use her own server when no other government agency signed off on it.

        2. Hillary Clinton uses the Clinton Foundation to launder money for herself.
        No again.

        A lot of the allegations about the Clinton Foundation “scandal” come from a man named Peter Schweizer, who wrote a book called Clinton Cash in which he makes all kinds of claims about the Foundation. Mr. Schweizer was a senior editor for Breitbart News, the alt-right news site run by Donald Trump’s campaign CEO.

        What’s amazing about these claims is how demonstrably false they are. The Clinton Foundation gets better ratings from non-profit watchdogs than the Red Cross, including ratings for being transparent — that’s for showing exactly where their money comes from and where it goes. People have accused the Clinton Foundation of wrongdoing because only 6% of their money goes to grants, but the Clinton Foundation isn’t in the business of funding grants. What they actually do is provide AIDS medication to rural African communities, combat climate change, and provide relief to areas affected by natural disasters.

        We know Hillary Clinton isn’t gaining anything monetarily from the foundation, because she and Bill have released 30 years of their tax returns, showing the majority of their $3 million income comes from speaking engagements and book sales.

        3. People could “buy” appointments with Secretary Clinton by donating to the Clinton Foundation.
        Not really. But again, this is a little more complicated.

        Many people wrote to Secretary Clinton, asking to get personal appointments with her, after making large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Most of them didn’t get what they wanted, but a few did.

        However, those few who did were already likely to get a meeting with the State Department anyway. Foreign heads of state, members of royal families, these are people who the State Department regularly deals with. They made large donations to the Clinton Foundation, and some of them did see Clinton afterwords. But as she received none of the money from these donations, the argument that it in some way curried favor with Secretary Clinton is dubious. In reality, they made large donations to a cause they knew she supported in hope of increasing her interest in meeting with them, and in some cases, that may have worked. But even in those cases, it was not illegal.

        4. Hillary Clinton approved a Russian uranium deal because of Clinton Foundation donations.
        Another of the bizarre claims in Schweizer’s Clinton Cash is that one of the alleged pay-for-play schemes run through the Clinton Foundation was that Hillary Clinton approved a uranium deal with the Russians after a massive donation.

        Everything about this claim has been found to be false. So false that Schweizer had to publicly admit there was no truth to them.

        Even if it were possible that Hillary Clinton had somehow gained financially from the deal, which she didn’t, nine other government agencies had to approve it — meaning the responsibility would have been far from hers alone.

        And even further, none of the people Schweizer accused of donating to the Clinton Foundation worked for the company which the U.S. government arranged the uranium deal with.

        5. Hillary Clinton is responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.
        As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was not responsible for the deaths of anyone, American or otherwise, in Benghazi.

        Yes, she was in charge of the State Department when the decision was made to reopen the embassy in Benghazi, but she did everything right. The reason people died in Benghazi is that sometimes terrorists succeed in killing people. In fact, fewer Americans were killed in embassy attacks than during either Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell’s tenures as secretary of state. During their administrations, there were 39 attacks on American embassies and consulate properties, resulting in 87 deaths.

        Everyone who goes to work abroad for the State Department knows these risks, and Secretary Clinton demonstrated her understanding of the dangerous roles she asked her employees to fill, which resulted in one of the safest State Department administrations in decades.

        6. Hillary Clinton is a conservative.
        As senator for New York, Hillary Clinton was rated the 11th most liberal senator in the United States. While she did vote initially for the invasion of Iraq, she soon saw how she and other members of Congress had been misled by the Bush administration, and by 2007, she was one of the Senate’s most outspoken opponents of the war.

        But well before her Senate career, she was known as a progressive. She spent her early career fighting against racism in education, working to eradicate poverty, and impeaching Richard Nixon. Then, as the first First Lady with a postgraduate degree, she led the fight for universal healthcare. After her healthcare plan failed, she managed to salvage part of the program as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which still insures millions of American children today.

        7. Hillary Clinton is owned by Wall Street.
        While it is true that Hillary Clinton was paid by Wall Street banks to deliver some speeches, it is untrue that they have exerted any influence over her, politically or otherwise.

        In fact, as a senator she voted in favor of tougher Wall Street regulations. Even Bernie Sanders, who built much of his support on the claim that Clinton was in the pocket of big banks, was unable to find any evidence whatsoever of this claim.

        Regardless of whatever might have been said in those speeches, her platform is one of the most aggressive and progressive plans to curb Wall Street corruption by any candidate, ever.

        The majority of her campaign donations come from individuals who work for, or used to work for prior to retirement, the four largest employers in the state she represented in the Senate (New York), and those four largest employers happen to be Wall Street banks.

        8. Hillary Clinton is not a feminist.
        Not even close.

        During her early career, she worked to integrate segregated schools, to ensure equal access to all people, for the children of all mothers. As First Lady, she addressed the UN, asserting that, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, once and for all.” This was a statement against the crimes sanctioned by countries against women and girls worldwide, of all colors, creeds, and ethnicities.

        She made it easier for women to sue against wage discrimination. She has the best rating on reproductive rights of any presidential candidate, ever. And she has promised to ensure that, if elected, 50% of her cabinet would be female — reflecting the content of our country rather than the content of our history.

        9. Hillary Clinton is dishonest.
        Not even close to true.

        For the last 18 months, news watch-dog groups have been fact checking everything the candidates say, in written statements, on their websites, in debates, in speeches, and in political ads. What they’ve found is that of all the people who ran for a major party’s nomination this election cycle, Hillary Clinton was the most honest — more honest than Bernie Sanders, more honest than John Kasich, more honest than everybody.

        The question of Hillary’s dishonesty actually comes down to a different issue — the sort of honesty we expect from “politicians” versus the type of honesty we expect from “women.” While we accept a politician boiling down a complex issue into a soundbite, when Hillary does it, she is often lambasted. Because Hillary speaks in complex statements, referring to the slow progress of governance instead of the speed of desired political change, it’s often seen as double-speak instead of metered realism. And people trust calculated caution in a woman’s speech less than they trust an overt lie from somebody like Donald Trump, whose supporters have said they don’t expect him to build a wall, despite it being his signature campaign promise.

        10. Hillary Clinton defended a rapist and laughed about it.
        One of the most untrue, horrible, despicable lies people still like to believe about Secretary Clinton is that she freed a child rapist, and laughed about it.

        The truth is that when she was fresh out of law school, Hillary Clinton was a public defender. A judge ordered her to defend a man who raped a child, and Hillary Clinton tried to turn down the case. However, the judge told her he would not recuse her from the case, and she accepted that her job as a public defender included defending a man who was clearly guilty of this heinous crime. Rather than quit, she accepted that the Constitution declares that every person is entitled to a defense, and she did her job. In the end, she convinced him to plead guilty — ensuring that, unlike 97% of rapists, he did go to jail.

        As for the laughter, during an interview some 40 years later, she laughed about how naive she had been to believe that technologies like a lie detector test would prove her client’s guilt. He passed the lie detector test, although Clinton knew he was guilty, and a much older Clinton laughed at the idea she could have once believed justice was as simple as putting an obviously guilty man behind bars. It had taken a great deal of work to convince him to plead guilty rather than going to trial, and she was proud of her work, as horrible as the job had been. The case went on to become a precedent for shield laws, which protect rape victims at the trials of their assailants.

        On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Donald Trump. Rather than facing dubious claims that he freed a child rapist, he’s actually being sued in court right now by a woman who claims, with eye witnesses, that Donald Trump raped her when she was 13. This is the third time Trump has faced rape allegations. The first time, his ex-wife Ivanka stepped back from her statements that he raped her after their divorce was final. The second time, he paid off a former business associate to ensure her silence about his sexual misconduct. It’s become increasingly clear that the Donald J. Trump Foundation actually is a money laundering scheme, with Trump using donated funds to pay off his own legal fees, as well as to purchase paintings of himself, among other things. And then there are his ties to foreign countries that undermine U.S. interests — something that, if untrue, he could easily put to rest if he were willing to release his tax returns.
        These myths reinforce the fact that Hillary Clinton is subjected to a double standard — one that we women are all too familiar with. In her 40-some years of public service, she has faced unprecedented scrutiny, and the result is that while her opponents have accused her of everything from money laundering to murder, nothing has ever been true. Her opponents claim, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” before lobbing a smoke bomb in her direction.

        When looking for the source of that smoke, make sure to look at Donald Trump, a human dumpster fire if ever there was one, surrounded by the very people who have made unfounded accusations against Mrs. Clinton since the 1980s without facts to back up their claims.

        Most importantly, vote based on facts, not feelings. Feelings change. Facts don’t.

        Lea Grover is a writer and toddler-wrangler living on Chicago’s South Side. When she isn’t cultivating an impressive dust bunny collection she waxes philosophic about raising interfaith children, life after cancer and vegetarian cooking. In her free time, you can find her writing as Becoming SuperMommy, working on her manuscript, singing opera to her littles, or smeared to the elbow in Townsend pastels.

        • Hillary Clinton made $200,000,000 giving speeches.

          She ain’t that great of a speaker.

          You don’t see anything fishy about that?

          • Question: How you can you possibly drag this red herring into a discussion of rape survivors?

            It has nothing to do with the subject and gives every impression that you don’t care that women are raped. Which is the impression you have given in every single one of your comments,.

    • Please do your research. As a public defender she was forced to take the case even though she tried to get out of it. Also, her incidents of laughter were about some of the odd circumstances. Her client passed a polygraph. She laughed when saying that that ruined her faith in polygraph forevet etc… Do your research, please. None of the laughter was regarding the victim or the rape.

    • Deborah – I suggest you fact-check your information. You will find that what you just said and believe is not entirely true.

  5. Thank you, John P for going out on another limb. Thank you for your compassion and you dedication to truth, however uncomfortable it may be for all of us. Bless you.

    A family member sexually molested me for two years when I was in Junior High. My evangelical husband repeatedly raped me and naive young evangelical wife that I was, I allowed it until one day I spoke to a friend and she explained to me that it was rape and I left him.

    That was a while back and in the evangelical communities of New England, I learned there was a lot of domestic violence due to the perverted way Paul’s Letters have been translated and interpreted by male chauvinists throughout the centuries. I have come to believe that a whole lotta straight men have been and are terrified at the amount of sexual desire they experience for a woman. Hence all the nasty things said about us by the Patristics, etc.

    Something that needs to be said is that by legal definition, it is sexual harassment ANY time a man touches a woman when she has not invited him. No matter how trivial the contact might seem to others, it is up to the woman to decide if it is or is not harassment.

    Unfortunately, in my experience of evangelical men, they seem to feel they own their wives’ or girlfriends’ bodies. We see many of the politicians on the Christian Right who believe they have the authority over women to dictate to us what we should or should not do with our bodies.

    Sadly, there are entirely too many women who have bought into this kind of thinking also and propagate it by slut-shaming other women who don’t conform to the so-called standards.

    Of course, the sexual harassment and assault of women is not limited to only men of the Christian Right. There are sexual predators in all demographics. John P wrote a post a while back about what we have to teach our sons as they grow up and “boys will be boys” is an untenable concept.

    Well, I’ve blathered on too long.

    • The Kennedy boys and Bill Clinton come to mind. But liberals and the liberal press and people like John P wink at them or ignore them. We just gotta figure out a way to blame Christians for EVERY evil…

      • Good Catholics, both of them. I was RC at the time JFK was elected and I remember such a deep sense of joy that one of us was President.

        JFK had to overcome an amazing amount of prejudice against RCs, lies about his faith.

          • Adultery happens among all faiths and among those of no faith. Yes, it’s a sin, and it’s bad behavior (for those who don’t profess a faith and thus don’t have a theological framework for the concept of “sin”). The fact that a lot of people do it doesn’t make it okay. But people can and do move past it, and even leave it behind. One of the principal tenets of our faith is grace–which means we are not defined by the worst thing we ever did, but by the best thing God did for us in Christ. We still sin, still make mistakes, still behave badly, even after we are Christian; but God’s grace continues. Yours, evidently, does not.

            • A “good Catholic” is not an adulterer. A “good Catholic” might have been one and have left it behind, but if he professes to be a practicing Catholic and is having affairs right and left as did JFK, then he was not a “good Catholic.” I hope for the sake of his soul he turned his life around at the end, and hope the same for his womanizing brothers.

              • “Good Catholics” are sinners who sin every single day of their lives.

                It happens. And if you think any human being is capable of confessing every single sin ever committed, and believe that you do that yourself, then you are probably suffering from over-scrupulosity, which is itself a sin of pride, self-righteous, and idolatry, according to everything I’ve ever read on the subject.

                Good Catholics also practice custody of the senses and don’t do around pointing out other people’s sins because good Catholics are too buys repenting of their own, as the nuns have taught me.

                • You really ought to go back to the Catholic Church. There you have the fullness of Christianity and no error. There you have the Sacraments.

                  I’m well aware of my sins and failings, but in this dirty political world, sometimes things need to be put into perspective.

                  Adultery is a very serious sin, and can lead a soul to hell. The Democrat heroes, JFK, RFK, and MLK were all serial adulterers. Their indiscretions were shielded by the press to create and preserve an image.

                  “Accusations” (nothing proven at all) have surfaced about Donald Trump in the final hour and the liberal press can’t get enough of it and gleefully plasters the news outlets with this filth to take out a candidate and divert attention from their own horrible candidate.

                  It is your pro-abortion Democrat party that is playing dirty and playing the game of selective moral outrage. They are champions of immoral behavior, yet are accusers when their opposition stumbles (and if they don’t stumble they make something up).

                  Such hypocrisy.

                    • Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him. Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem. Immigrants don’t pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn’t pay taxes. He’s a business genius. Hillary’s foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She’s a crook. Trumps foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State). So savvy… Put him in the white house. Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same “small loans” he received would be worth $12 billion today… without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He’s a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She’s a criminal. Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible. Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he’s just telling it like it is.

                      Your arguments are thin. Your ignorance of reality is shocking. Your double-standards are offensive, and your willingness to blindly support him and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. Your opinion is not fact. Your memes are not news articles. And your hypocrisy is not a platform.

                      Alex Schiller

          • As you sister and Sister in the Lord, Benny, please get medical attention. The more I read what you write the more I realize that you think in only black/white terms. There is no either/or for you, only right or wrong. Classic symptoms of a brain disorder which is treatable. Please be kind to yourself and all who love you, and seek medical help.

  6. Just when I thought JohnP couldn’t go any lower in his assault on Christians, he posts this filth.

    JohnP’s favorite candidate and advocate of baby-killing defended a REAL RAPIST.

    NONE of the people he tars with his big brush are “pro-rape” and none of them sympathize with rapists or blame the victims. JohnP is a vicious liar.

    JohnP is exploiting rape and rape victims to vilify Christians and to gain a following.

    Where was he when the “tramps” who were Bill Clinton’s victims came forward? Where was his love and sympathy for them.

    JohnP is a total fraud.

    • You are exactly right Benny. And now John P is assaulting the women all over again by using their trauma to further his policital agenda.

      • Actually, it’s not about politics, and it’s not about religion. It’s about something greater. But people who are so tightly wrapped up in their politics and religion can’t see that.

        • Benny, we all feel passionately about our own causes, I don’t think it makes anyone selfish. Sometimes we’re just so blinded by our own motivations, it’s hard to see another’s points legitimately. Even though I don’t agree with some of your viewpoints, I believe you are sincere in your attempts to find truth. That’s what we’re all striving for. Maybe we’re not all great at it (no one asks to be born!) but we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

          See the good in John P. You will be amazed at what it does for your soul.

          • You’re a nice person and a reasonable person, and you make a good point about trying to see the good in people. I believer everyone has good in them, including Trump and Clinton. Nobody is irredeemable.

            JohnP has some off-the-wall beliefs about Christianity that are so extreme it’s not Christianity anymore. But that’s not the issue. I’m not debating theology.

            My problem with JohnP is that his “ministry” seems to be centered around attacking other Christians. It’s not enough for him to say “here in my church we believe xyz, and you’re welcome to join us.” Even if I thought xyz was crazy, I wouldn’t criticize him.

            We don’t do that in my church (Catholicism). There are no sermons denouncing Baptists, Presbyterians, Jews, Wiccans or Pagans. We make our case for what is that we do and believe and why and hope you will come and see for yourself and experience it for yourself. (And it’s all done without any pressure whatsoever). We give others who we believe are in error the benefit of the doubt that they believe as they do in good faith.

            But with JP, almost every blog post is an attack on Christians (and usually some bragging about himself about how good he is that he’s not like that). And he makes his attacks using unfair logic and distortions of the truth. For example, we Christians who are voting for Trump are doing so for good reasons as well as voting against Hillary for good reasons. But he stops up his ears at that. For him, it’s because we’re bad people. We don’t care about rape. We don’t care about starving children. We like seeing black people shot by police. We are all racists and homophobes. Etc. etc. etc.

            I’ll try to see some good in him as you suggested. It would be nice if JohnP tried to see the good in the people he constantly persecutes.

              • …one must be honest about John Ps beliefs which are ‘Emergent Church’ teachings. [ i.e., pastor Brian McLaren. ] The Emergent Church:
                –down plays doctrine
                –de-emphasizes tradition
                –reimagines the story of Jesus
                –is inclusive of contradictory belief systems
                –re-examines bible & teachings

                I keep reading JPs posts because I’m curious where his new beliefs are going to take him… (i pray that they don’t lead him to where my Emergent beliefs led me.)

                x-emergent. fundie.

                • RED HERRING

                  This post of John P’s has nothing to do with anything except what the USA and the Christian Right present to rape survivors.

                  If you can’t grasp and agree with what he wrote, then very sadly, you just might be part of the culture that supports rape and all sorts of abuse of women and children.

                  It’s your choice to be part of the solution or remain part of the problem.

            • This may be well said but not well thought out.

              Christians can be held accountable for their faults, sins and error.

              • Yeah, but it’s not a fault, sin, or an error to not like Hillary Clinton. It’s not a fault, sin, or an error to vote for the opposing candidate.

                • ” It’s not a fault, sin, or an error to vote for the opposing candidate.”

                  Oh it most certainly is. And I’ve already proven it a hundred times over.

                  Well, ok, maybe not a hundred times. I exaggerate.

                • This is not about whether you like Hillary Clinton is it. If you met her you would probably like her. She is intelligent and witty. And cute too 🙂

            • “But with JP, almost every blog post is an attack on Christians (and usually some bragging about himself about how good he is that he’s not like that). ”

              His posts read far more like the prayer of the Publican or the Centurion to me than bragging.

            • “It’s not enough for him to say “here in my church we believe xyz, and you’re welcome to join us.” Even if I thought xyz was crazy, I wouldn’t criticize him.”

              Uh-h-h-h-h. Benny. Just in case you haven’t noticed—you are still here when other blog owners would have kicked you out long, long, long ago.

    • If his work bothers you so much, why do you keep reading it? You’re not convincing his fans that you’re right, you’re really just reinforcing many of his points.

      • I’ll grow tired of his vitriol eventually and leave. Especially since this blog crashes my computer so often. It must be because of all the things he’s trying to sell.

        • My computer has never crashed and most every website and news source has annoying ads, just like tv and newspapers. Are you going to stop reading magazines and newspapers; will you stop watching tv ? Do you tithe at church ? Do you buy girl guide cookies? Even PBS needs money to exist. It’s part of living in the world/system we live in.

          • Lucky you. It happens on two of my computers. even when it doesn’t crash, it is very unstable.

            What do you think will be the next bad thing he blames on Christians?

            • I would echo what Carmen said above.

              I don’t mind have a dialogue with you because I think respectful conversation, even with those who disagree me, is beneficial.

              If we are listening it helps us understand each other.

              But I won’t respond to everything you say or ask… especially if it is rhetorical.

          • If the following four paragraphs were omitted, it would be a good article:

            “This week she’s had to hear friends and co-workers and family members openly defend the words and behavior of Donald Trump, oblivious to the way these things silently wound her and force her deeper and deeper into isolation and sadness, and how their words assault her all over again.

            She’s had to hear people like Rush Limbaugh make the issue of consent the punchline to some twisted joke.

            She’s seen an alleged Christian leader like Jerry Falwell Jr. say that he would endorse Trump even if he had a history of sexual assault.

            She’s listened to other women defend the GOP candidate and give guys a pass and blame victims and openly campaign for a confessed sexual predator.”

            The problem I have with this is that there are distortions and lies, primarily directed at Christian Conservatives.

            1) The behavior of Donald Trump was not defended. It was put in its proper perspective. His speech was crude, but wasn’t “sexual assault.” He wasn’t advocating sexual assault. It was a private conversation. It was 11 years ago. He was embarrassed about it and apologized. Nobody was defending what he said, or defending the act (that he didn’t do–just talked about). It’s a lie to say that his words were defended. Those of us who support him support his policies, not an 11 year old verbal indiscretions.

            2) How does he know she listens to Rush Limbaugh? If she does, then she of all people would understand Rush IN CONTEXT and know that he would not imply that aggression is appropriate or defend rape or joke about rape. If she doesn’t, then she never heard him say it. She would only have heard him say it if some troublemaker made the effort to find the comments and play them back to her to ensure she was properly offended, but what kind of a jerk would do that? So that comment is just plain stupid, besides being a distortion.

            3) Jerry Falwell DID NOT SAY he would endorse Trump even if he had a history of sexual assault. A liberal pro-Clinton reporter strove to entrap him with hypotheticals and he didn’t take the bait. So what he said about Jerry Falwell Jr. is A LIE.

            4) GOP women and conservative Christians WERE NOT blaming victims. Donald Trump IS NOT a “confessed sexual predator.” That is another LIE.

            (The real sexual predator who has been credibly accused of rape, and the person who enabled him have been given a pass by JP and his ilk, to their shame and to the detriment of rape victims).

            JP has exploited the poor victim in his quest to smear Christians and Trump supporters. He didn’t need to do that. We care about people like her too, and not wanting to vote for JP’s candidate does not mean we don’t.

            • Benny, it’s your choice whether to continue to be part of the problem or to choose to become part of the solution.

              If you post here thinking you will change minds, I have to tell you, you do not have that power. No human being does. That is the sole purview of the Holy Spirit.

              If you believe John P reads your comments, I have to say I don’t think he reads any of the comments. So if you are posting to change John’s mind, you waste your time because none of us are the Holy Spirit.

              John P has either the gift of exhortation or the gift of prophecy. Most of us who follow his blog accept this.

              I’ve been told a number of times that the definition of psychosis is to do the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results. I am not sure I would agree that’s the definition of psychosis, but I and am certain others have experienced the futility at flinging ourselves against various giants only to discover we were jousting at windmills.

              You are unhealthfully, I believe, obsessed with abortion and even more unhealthfully determined to force people to agree with you by whatever means. I say that because no matter how distant a topic is from abortion, you ram it in to conversation.

              Google this article in Christianity Today. It applies as much to you as any evangelical as you are part of the Christian Right.

              “Speak Truth to Trump
              Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality.
              Andy Crouch”

        • Benny you might want to update your virus protection. If websites crash it’s probably due to something you picked up when opening a email attachment or visiting an infected site. There are some dodgy sites out there you know.
          Or it could be the Holy Spirit telling you to shut up.
          You have turned these comments into a political argument. So I will do the political bit myself.
          Can’t remember who did it and I’m only on a phone but a few months ago some people made fake Trump campaign leaflets using quotes from Hitler. Most Trump supporters could not tell that the leaflets were fake. One person stated well if Hitler said it then it’s wrong but if Trump said it then it’s ok and correct.

          • Ellie, thank you. Consider yourself hugged and kissed in thanksgiving. When I got to the part about the Holy Spirit I laughed so hard I had an asthma attack but it was well worth if.

            As for fake leaflets… there have been many articles from reputable sources comparing Trump’s policies with those of the Third Reich and Mussolini.

            If you want I’ll look them up for you tomorrow.

    • Benny and any other person on this thread who has decided to atack this post. I still remember how I was meant to feel like a warm place for someone…….,………………………..
      I’ll stop there but I doubt your intellegent enough to finish the sentance. I find strength in John P’s posts. I have also had the privalidge to know what an honour it is for someone to trust you enough to share their trauma and pain with you.
      Therefore I would request that on this post, just this one, you don’t attack it. Because what gives anyone the right, especailly someone using the name Benny (male) to say how a rape victim feels?

      • I don’t see why you feel a need to insult me. I haven’t posted anything against you. And I have no intention of attacking you.

        I was simply pointing out that JohnP exploited this rape tragedy for political purposes and to persecute Christians. He lied (or repeated a lie) about Jerry Falwell Jr. and any fair person (which JohnP is not) can see that he did not say what he said he said. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jerry-falwell-trump-changed-man

        JohnP refuses to acknowledge good-faith reasons for Trump support, while ironically supporting a candidate who has enabled a sexual predator.

        I am sorry for what you have been through. No, I cannot say I know how you feel and never implied such a thing.

        I only wish you well. I also wish that JohnP would stop persecuting good Christian people and get off his sanctimonious high horse.

        • Benny, if you really believe this about John P, then you are part of the rape culture.

          Since you support the candidate who is an adulterer, bigot, discriminator, fornicator, gynophobe, homophobe, intolerant, misogynistic, racist, a rapist, sexist, sex offender, transgenderphobic, white supremacist, and xenophobic, you have no moral ground to stand on yourself.

        • Why don’t you google for this article?

          Speak Truth to Trump
          Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality.
          Andy Crouch

        • It really is remarkable that you overlook the fact that John P is the not the only one saying these things. Or is he the only you have chosen to harass.

          Please google: An Open Letter To Evangelical Republicans
          It’s not a matter of petty political preference or social sensibilities anymore.

          Catholics are pretty much disgusted with Trump also. Please google this article on Time’s website:
          Trump-Pence is the Most Anti-Catholic Republican Ticket in Modern History

          Here’s one from the Economist:
          Why Donald Trump is losing among Catholic voters

          Here’s an article from the Catholic News Agency:
          Can a Catholic in good conscience vote for Trump?

          Your own Pope says “Pope suggests Trump ‘is not Christian’ Please google it.

          Here’s another article from Time, citing His Holiness: Pope Francis Slams Donald Trump’s Notions of ‘Radical Islam’

          That should give you not only plenty to read but actual evidence, facts, and truth.

        • Have you ever considered the possibility that John might not be criticizing Christians—but really just people who claim to be Christians when they really are not Christians. I would not make a final judgement on that, but Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are essentially modern-day-born heresies if you look at them in light of what the early Christians in Judea and the Mediterranean world believed. They are not “Orthodox Christianity” just like the earliest churches believed.

        • So when a woman forces a person who’s lie detector says he is innocent to plead guilty this jailing him and sparing his victim the humiliation of reliving their experiences in public they are enabling a sexual predator? ???
          Please explain.
          Or please explain why an anonymous person clearly describing a sexual assult then asks you to stop using the comments for your own political ends is attacking you?

    • Please look at the language, tone of voice etc. Please note that although John P id not talking about abortion, Benny wants to twist the discussion to that subject.

      Benny is a troll. Engage at your own peril.

    • Benny, if I may, I would like to respond to your concern. As a survivor of sexual assault, John P’s words resonated deeply with me. I did not at all read it as an indictment of anyone being “pro-rape,” as you said. I read it as John P speaking up and saying what I wish people would understand.

      For the record, Benny, I was equally disgusted by Bill Clinton’s behavior and parsing of words (“It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is…”.) I am unconvinced that Hillary is completely trustworthy. I am pro-life.

      However, when a man gleefully boasts that he can grab women by the p***y and get away with it, I’m inclined to believe him. When he reports that he was unfaithful to his wives and that he slept with married women, when he calls women ugly names and demeans them, when women come forward to say that he did, in fact, behave in the way he boasted, and then when evangelical leaders continue to support his candidacy, I am left scratching my head… I have to wonder if they are as concerned with girls and women as they are with consolidating their own power. And in light of his track record, I am thoroughly concerned that Mr. Trump’s first concern is himself. Honestly, I believe that he would change his stance on abortion (back to what he said it was when he was pro-choice) before you could say “Planned Parenthood” if he sensed it would be to his benefit.

      So yes, survivors of sexual assault are watching, and many of us are unimpressed with, even offended by, the Christian apologists who continue to support Trump’s candidacy.

      • The Psychology Behind Donald Trump’s Unwavering Support
        Research explains why Donald Trump maintains support despite shocking behavior.

        There’s no doubt that Donald Trump has said many things that would have been political suicide for any other Republican candidate. And almost every time he made one of these shocking statements, political analysts on both the left and the right predicted that he’d lose supporters because of it. But as we have clearly seen over the past year, they were dead wrong every time. Trump appears to be almost totally bulletproof.

        The only thing that might be more perplexing than the psychology of Donald Trump is the psychology of his supporters. In their eyes, The Donald can do no wrong. Even Trump himself seems to be astonished by this phenomenon. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

        Senator John McCain, who has been a regular target for Trump during his campaign, has a simple explanation for his unwavering support. “What he did was he fired up the crazies.”

        While the former Republican presidential nominee may be on to something, he doesn’t exactly provide a very satisfying scientific explanation. So how exactly are Trump loyalists psychologically or neurologically different from everyone else? What is going on in their brains that makes them so blindly devoted?

        1. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

        Some believe that many of those who support Donald Trump do so because of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

        The seemingly obvious solution would be to try to reach those people through political ads, expert opinions, and logical arguments that educate with facts. Except none of those things seem to be swaying any Trump supporters from his side, despite great efforts to deliver this information to them directly.

        The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.

        Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb.

        And if one is under the illusion that they have sufficient or even superior knowledge, then they have no reason to defer to anyone else’s judgment. This helps explain why even nonpartisan experts — like military generals and Independent former Mayor of New York/billionaire CEO Michael Bloomberg — as well as some respected Republican politicians, don’t seem to be able to say anything that can change the minds of loyal Trump followers.

        Out of immense frustration, some of us may feel the urge to shake a Trump supporter and say, “Hey! Don’t you realize that he’s an idiot?!” No. They don’t. That may be hard to fathom, but that’s the nature of the Dunning-Kruger effect — one’s ignorance is completely invisible to them.

        2. Hypersensitivity to Threat

        Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

        So how does this help explain the unbridled loyalty of Trump supporters? These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Mexican immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with remarks that would normally be seen as highly offensive.

        3. Terror Management Theory

        A well-supported theory from social psychology, called Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective.

        The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

        Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

        Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they influence actual voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.

        By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasn’t lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.

        4. High Attentional Engagement

        According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

        Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

        Of course these explanations do not apply to all Trump supporters. In fact, some are likely intelligent people who know better, but are supporting Trump to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Hillary Clinton that their vote for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington.

        So what can we do to potentially change the minds of Trump loyalists before voting day in November? As a cognitive neuroscientist, it grieves me to say that there may be nothing we can do. The overwhelming majority of these people may be beyond reach, at least in the short term. The best we can do is to motivate everyone else to get out to the booths and check the box that doesn’t belong to a narcissistic nationalist who has the potential to damage the nation beyond repair.

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201609/the-psychology-behind-donald-trumps-unwavering-support

        • Do you think it might just be that they don’t like Hillary and are not confident in an alternative option? Lots of people I know are not Pro Trump so much as they are Anti Hillary and will vote accordingly. I myself am pro neither and will be voting outside of the 2 party mainstream. The two of them to me are merely two different ways to cook carrots, and I don’t like carrots, so therefore I will eat celery.

          • Do you think I wrote that article?

            A vote for anyone other than Hillary is a vote for Trump, who is, among all of his other despicable qualities, a sex offender.

            • I don’t know if you wrote the article or not, who the author was is irrelevant to me. Be that as it may I don’t see it covering the categories of the people I was speaking of. The article try’s to generalize people based on the “one” thing, their support for Trump, it paints with a very broad brush. None of the Trump people I know personally are like that, just like none of the Hilary supporters behave in the stereotypical ways the Trump people say they do. They are all just people making their choices for their own reasons and the pro Trump people think my vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hilary the same way you think it’s a vote for Trump. I think it’s a vote for Gary Johnson, just like my ballot says it is.

              • Ok. I believe you said once that you did not believe in government benefits programs but felt that the private sector needed to help people.

                How willing are you to do exactly that? Because I have a good deal of food insecurity and only get $20/month in SNAP and am forced to rely on food banks where very little healthy food is available. I am diabetic as has been every woman in my maternal line and what they offer at the food banks has adverse affects upon my blood sugar readings.

                I am your sister in Christ and I am in need. What do you as a Christian and a Libertarian do about it?

                    • I called them this morning, the people at the Huddle restaurant who run the food pantry for diabetic people and they said they still are running the food pantry for diabetic people. Winder Farms is a food delivery service with food boxes, the produce boxes come in vegetables only, fruits and vegetables, or only fruit.

                    • I sure hope you’re monitoring your kidneys because the VA has a similar low/no carb diet that is an option for the overweight veterans and they have to monitor their ketones very closely.

                  • No idea who Winder Farms is, but fruit is a carb and all carbs send my blood sugars soaring.

                    I’ve already had two heart attacks thanks to following the American Diabetic Association food pyramid. That food bank you sent the URL for,only gives out food according to the pyramid and it is mostly carbs.

                    • Are you allergic to peanuts? Amazon sells a great protein powder called PB fit, I will pay to ship some to you.

                    • I talked to the people at the Huddle restaurant who run the food pantry. That’s how I talked to someone.

                  • Suzanne, there is not a reply option to your question about peanuts.

                    What part of I can’t eat any carbs are you failing to understand? Peanuts are a legume and legumes are carbs and i can’t eat carbs.

                    That article about that diabetic food pantry says this about their diabetic foods ““These are foods that are non-perishable and are available for the diabetics,” she said. “So we have low-sodium V8, we have whole grain cereal, we have brown rice, whole grain pastas, that type of thing.”

                    Except for the V8, there is NOTHING in that group that I can eat.

                    I can not begin to explain the humiliation I am made to feel when I go to food banks and need to refuse most of what they try to give me.

                    I have a chronic illness best managed by food and people shame me for refusing to accept the foods that will kill me.

                    No peanuts, no beans, no bread, no grains, no dairy, no fruit, no cheese, no yogurt, no pasta, no corn, no peas, no potatoes, no winter squash.

                    I can only eat protein: fish, poultry, game, beef, lamb, pork, and non-starchy vegetables. Which is a diet of those who are privileged.

                    Those of us who live below the poverty line are forced to eat the cheap food which is the unhealthy food.

                    • Nor do I understand how you managed to talk to anyone one there. I call, attempt to leave a message and then have no opportunity to do so.

                    • Suzanne, you said “I talked to the people at the Huddle restaurant who run the food pantry. That’s how I talked to someone.”

                      I called the restaurant. They would not speak to me but referred to a number. When I attempt to leave a message, the attempt is always cut off. When I did speak to someone, he said I would have to stand in line. When I said I am too handicapped to stand in line, he said there was no other option. Since I am unable to stand in line, I guess this place is of not help to me.

  7. I agree in all that you wrote about victims and the pain they carry from abuse! I too was sexually abused as a child and later as an adult with unwanted groping etc… plus I know I was slipped something in my drink one night and don’t remember what happened except that I was taken advantage of and thankfully seen by my husband or it could have gone much farther! I have suffered the trauma of not being believed, accused of having an affair etc… But, because of this, I turned totally to my savior Jesus Christ and He gave me the comfort and the answers I was looking for! I have totally forgiven the men who have hurt me and choose to pray for them!! They too are damaged God’s children! I feel because of that last incident I came to the end of myself and found truth! That God is love and total love! Jesus lives in me, so I too have that spirit of love! I’m not sure who I will vote for! But, only God knows a person’s heart! I have judged myself and others harshly in the past! I now want to be God’s heart! His light! People can and do change! Every person in this world has done hurtful things to someone and to themselves and to God! But God loves us still! He still wants everyone to come to Him and know what perfect love is! Instead of hating Trump and Hillary start praying for them! That their eyes may be opened! How do you know what Trump is feeling about past actions, thoughts or words! Hopefully he has repented and is trying like you and me to be a better person! I know I can’t be better without Jesus! Self effort didn’t get me very far! I’ve done and said many things I regret, but now instead of hating myself, I stand up tall and confess and move on knowing I am forgiven and because God has then forgotten, I will no longer condemn myself! We live in a very damaged world that needs people that will love the unlovable because unlovable people are the ones who need it the most!

    Love your blogs by they way!! Camille K. Jordalen

    • What you said, it’s beautiful and a blessing. I too am a survivor, and because of the Holy Spirit a victorious survivor. The past is behind us and the future is in God’s hands and I am constantly praying for all of our candidates for all of the offices.

  8. Can we agree to just completely ignore Benny? The man is constantly itchin for a fight and misses the point altogether. Thanks JOHN for giving a voice and a face to this state of all too frequent abuse of women.
    Takes two to have a duel. Let’s withdraw completely from any further dialog with Benny and let him punch air!

  9. People should know that when you are raped and sexually abused it causes you to live in fear of all men. You don’t want to be alone with them. You are constantly on guard and looking over your shoulder. You can’t even rationalize it in your head when a decent man wants to drive you home because of the broken trust. It’s not being a victim it comes from deep inside you. It’s a new found reflex to keep yourself safe at all times. My gut tells me Trump is not a safe person. Just look at his body language on stage in the last debate. He paced back and forth and glared at Hillary. He approached her and loomed over her when her back was turned to him. He is no gentleman !!!

  10. John, thank you once again. This is a problem that isn’t going to go away soon, but elevating people’s awareness of the consequences of rape helps – as does teaching our youth about it and not just trying to bury or deny the incident. Thank you again.

  11. I don’t know where this will end upin the comment trail, but seeing the reaction to this post, I’d like to say I did not relive my trauma over again, so before assuming you have any idea what a rape survivor experiences, have the courtesy to ask.

    Also, for any of you who disagree with anything John P has written, you are part of the problem and part of the rape culture. I say that because John P’s perspective is the one that needs to be universally embraced if we want rape and sexual molestation to cease.

        • What does this mean? He lied about Jerry Falwell. I need to be “humble” and accept a lie?

          I’m a Catholic who goes to Confession. I know what “self-reflection” is and I know it’s humbling and not very pretty.

          • You don’t have to take everything personally.

            As well with regards to Mr. Trump. I think it is embarrassing that any Christian has embraced him as a candidate for President.

            It proves what Jesus said. You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.

            • Kathy, you might be interested to google this article recently posted on Christianity Today’s website:

              Speak Truth to Trump
              Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality.
              Andy Crouch

            • Wow, back to square one.

              Every pro-life Christian should then be so embarrassed by Trump that he turns his back on the unborn? That would really be straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.

              • Joe/benny I don’t think we ever left square one.

                Trump has already made the Christians who support him look foolish.

                I am not one to worry about the timing of your realization.

                • You’re entitled to your opinion and entitled to deny me and others the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt.

                  I’m voting for Trump because I believe he’s the better choice from a Christian perspective. I will not change my mind about that if he loses. I will never go against my conscience and Church and vote for pro-choice candidates.

                  • Benny writes” I’m voting for Trump because I believe he’s the better choice from a Christian perspective. ”

                    A 100% completely indefensible position. You have been provided with articles which you have refused to read.

                    If you were sincere in your faith, you would allow yourself to be educated but you cling to hubris.

              • How a candidate feels about abortion is not the most important issue when choosing for which political candidate to vote.

                It is vital that people look at the entire package, the entire platform.

                It is urgent that we do the most good for the most people.

                It is self-evident, based on the facts that have been shared here by many of us, that Trump would do the most harm to the most people.

  12. hmm… Nice timing for a thinly-veiled political harangue tarted up as empathy and compassion.
    Campaign season always brings out stump speakers, detractors, and political hoares.

    • Trolls too, who not only express themselves in belligerent, disrespectful, and invalidating terms but who also can’t spell their insults correctly.

      If you disagree with what John P has written her, I can assure as a rape survivor, you are part of the problem that is the culture that condones rape, and all others form of abuse of women and children.

  13. More Than 700 Christian Women Condemn Trump’s Misogyny In Powerful Letter
    “This is an insult to the Christian faith itself.”

    Christian women across the country are banding together to send a strong message about Donald Trump’s misogyny.

    More than 700 Christian clergy and lay leaders have signed a letter that strongly condemns the abusive remarks Trump has made towards women.

    “As Christian women we are appalled by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recorded remarks that disparage women and condone sexual assault,” the letter reads. “We urge all religious leaders to preach, teach and help their communities heal from the twin sins of sexual violence and misogyny.”

    The campaign was organized by Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of the faith-based advocacy group Faith In Public Life Action Fund and was signed by a number of prominent Christian theologians and writers, including the author Rachel Held Evans, Auburn Seminary’s Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhoades Henderson and Union Theological Seminary’s Dr. Serene Jones.

    Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor at the Chicago Theological Seminary, is one of the women who signed the letter. She told The Huffington Post that she wanted to add her voice to this chorus of Christian women who are confronting Donald Trump’s “blatant manipulation of the Christian faith for political ends.”

    “He ‘found Jesus’ just as he was being nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, and that’s only one example,” she told HuffPost in an email. “Given his sexually aggressive behavior toward women, in his own words, this is an insult to the Christian faith itself.”

    Rev. Thistlethwaite said that she had anticipated that sexism would play a role in this election cycle. But never in her “wildest imagination” did she think it would be this “horrific.”

    “It is as though the underbelly of violence against women has been not only exposed in the candidacy of Donald Trump, but also the blatant misogyny that supports it.”

    The Faith in Public Life letter comes soon after a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” video captured Trump on a hot mic bragging about being able to sexually harass because he was a “star.” This week, several women came forward alleging that Trump had assaulted them. The candidate has denied these latest allegations. He dismissed the banter caught in the video as “locker room talk.”

    Several prominent Christian leaders have stood by Trump despite his vulgar comments on the tape, but for others, the video and the recent accusations of assault could be the last straw. Over the past few days, a leading evangelical website, an evangelical theologian, and a member of Trump’s own evangelical advisory council have issued harsh condemnations of the candidate’s attitude towards women.

    The Faith in Public Life letter goes one step further. Not only does it condemn Trump’s callous attitude toward sexual assault, it also calls out those Christian leaders who don’t understand that Trump’s comments can’t simply be dismissed as “locker room talk.”

    Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, is a prime example of this. In a segment on his “700 Club” show, Robertson suggested that Trump was just trying to “look like he’s macho” in that leaked video and praised the candidate for rising “like the phoenix” after the tape came out.

    This kind of attitude doesn’t sit well with many Christian women, and they’re letting men like Robertson know.

    “Christian leaders cannot condone such violent speech about women as a minor mistake or an innocent attempt to be ‘macho,’” the letter reads. “These excuses teach our young people that such language is acceptable and do further harm to those who have been abused.”

    Rev. Butler said that it’s up to congregations and religious people to “lead the way in denouncing such vile and violent behavior.”

    “When some Christian leaders dismiss or minimize sexually abusive remarks from a presidential candidate, they do violence to women ― particularly those recovering from abuse,” Butler said in a statement. “Trump has not offered true repentance.”

    • Faith In Public Life would have reasons for supporting Hillary over Trump that have nothing to do with a recording from 11 years ago.

      • Trump is not merely being dumped because of what happened 11 years ago. He is also being dumped because of all of the misogynistic and sexist treatment of women his entire adult life and the many crass, rude, and vulgar things he has said about women this entire campaign.

        The Liberty University Student Body Calls Out Falwell Jr.

        Here is a statement from a movement on the Liberty University campus (and I assume among the Liberty University alumni) called Liberty United Against Trump.

        In the months since Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed him, Donald Trump has been inexorably associated with Liberty University. We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history. Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him.

        A majority of Liberty students, faculty, and staff feel as we do. Donald Trump received a pitiful 90 votes from Liberty students in Virginia’s primary election, a colossal rejection of his campaign. Nevertheless, President Falwell eagerly uses his national platform to advocate for Donald Trump. While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his title of president of the largest Christian university in the world that gives him political credentials.

        Associating any politician with Christianity is damaging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But Donald Trump is not just any politician. He has made his name by maligning others and bragging about his sins. Not only is Donald Trump a bad candidate for president, he is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.

        A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women. Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense – taking the name “Liberty University” with him. “We’re all sinners,” Falwell told the media, as if sexual assault is a shoulder-shrugging issue rather than an atrocity which plagues college campuses across America, including our own.

        It is not enough to criticize these kinds of comments. We must make clear to the world that while everyone is a sinner and everyone can be forgiven, a man who constantly and proudly speaks evil does not deserve our support for the nation’s highest office.

        Jesus tells a story in the Bible about a man who tries to remove a speck of dust from his brother’s eye, while he has a log stuck in his own. “You hypocrite,” Jesus says, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

        We Liberty students are often told to support Donald Trump because the other leading candidate is a bad option. Perhaps this is true. But the only candidate who is directly associated with Liberty University is Donald Trump.

        Because our president has led the world to believe that Liberty University supports Donald Trump, we students must take it upon ourselves to make clear that Donald Trump is absolutely opposed to what we believe, and does not have our support.

        We are not proclaiming our opposition to Donald Trump out of bitterness, but out of a desire to regain the integrity of our school. While our president Jerry Falwell Jr. tours the country championing the log in his eye, we want the world to know how many students oppose him. We don’t want to champion Donald Trump; we want only to be champions for Christ.

        Members of the Liberty University family are asked to sign this statement.

        https://thewayofimprovement.com/2016/10/12/the-liberty-university-student-body-calls-out-falwell-jr/

  14. Not sure if John P has a complete understanding of rape. When sharing the story about ‘Emily’, he writes, “Emily suffers everyday because someone…saw her as an object & ignored her consent…”

    Very odd way to write about rape. Rape is a violent attack against someone’s person.

    • …so if a woman’s life is threatened with a knife, and she is viciously, violently attacked sexually (but she ‘consents’) then it’s not rape?

      I disagree.

      • What a really blind and uninformed definition of consent and rape. What you describe is NOT consent, only submitting to coercion to save her life.

        What a troll you are.

  15. Thank you, John. I have been so hurt this week by the responses of some of my own family, ministers, and friends. I have tried to talk to them about how their support makes me feel, as someone who has been abused multiple times throughout my life. They continue to defend him and say it’s just words. They blame shift and talk about Hillary and Bill. You know. You’ve seen it too. I’ve started to lash out and have had to hold myself back so that I don’t damage relationships. As hurtful as their responses have been, as painful as the past week has been, its hard to know that it’s also on me to not rock the boat so that I don’t hurt relationships. I have to be the one to just let it roll so that family gatherings and church events aren’t uncomfortable. It’s so painful to feel so discounted. Thank you for naming us and our pain.

    • Celebrate Recovery is a wonderful support group for Christians that are struggling with past hurts. They have a support group for victims of abuse.
      Progress not Perfection.

      • Celebrate Recovery is a bunch of brainwashing con artists in it to take your money in exchange for nothing. Might as well be tele-evangelists. I know from my own personal experience.

        Please, Laura, do not trust them. My heart breaks with your pain. I do not know what your exact circumstances are, but I received tremendous help and support from ALA-ANON, CODA (Co-Dependents Anonymous), and non-denominational women’s support groups. CODA was especially informative as it taught me what I was doing to contribute to the problem and how to become a solution.

        I have also benefited from individual therapy, a psychiatrist, group therapy. Right now I am taking a class to learn the skills of Dialectic Behavior Therapy, developed by Marsha M. Linehan, Roman Catholic nun at one time.

        If you would like to talk some more, please :friend” me on FB and I will listen. Please let me know that you are going to do this so I can change my status to accept requests from others, not just friends of friends.

        I’d be very privileged to listen.

        • “Celebrate Recovery is a bunch of brainwashing con artists in it to take your money in exchange for nothing. Might as well be tele-evangelists. I know from my own personal experience.”

          That is not a universally true statement. I’m sorry that was your experience there but not so in my city; they don’t ask for money. I have 30+ years in Alanon and 4 at CR. I, in fact, appreciate the ability to openly worship Christ at CR vs inability at secular meetings. Please watch using universal statements. Don’t discourage people possible help. Advising caution regarding particular groups is advisable however.

          • If people are finally going to go for help, they need to go to a place with a proven track record, not a bunch of con artists masquerading as people whp care.

            CR wants to put every LGBT through conversion therapy, a barbaric form of abuse.

            • I don’t find that to be the case. LGBTQ members are well received, as they are, where I attend. No one can define a hurt, habit, or addiction for another.

              • Oh really? Seems to me there are people trained to do exactly this “define a hurt, habit, or addiction for another.”

                  • You silly, silly, silly person. DO you assume I mean myself?

                    Have you never heard of medical professionals?

                    LOL

                    • And other trained people.

                      Before acting as if you think you know what I mean, why not simply ask the way a thoughtful, non-trollish person would do?

                    • Gloriamarie,

                      I know more than one person who has been helped and healed through Celebrate Recovery.

                      I don’t know why you want to discredit their good works and hurt someone who is in recovery.

                      I am not impressed with your ungraceful comments here. :/

  16. Please do not send any peanut powder. Peanuts are a legume, as are beans and I can’t eat those because they are CARBS.

    I cn’t eat anty carbs.

  17. If you are diabetic and a dietician told you that you cannot eat any carbs at all, you need to find another dietician. We are going through this with my husband right now, and since carbs are what supply energy, our dietician told us that he needs to eat some carbs at regular intervals throughout the day to keep his blood sugar at even levels. Not a *lot* of carbs, but he has to eat them.

    • Revharkie,

      The proof is in the numbers. If I eat carbs, no matter how quality, my blood sugars spike.

      Eating as few carbs as I can, my last two A1Cs have been below 6. My doctor tells me to continue to do what works.

      The ADA’s food pyramid is based on “one size fits all” approach and more and more diabetics are discovering that it doesn’t fit and we must look for more idiosyncratic approaches.

      • I tried to order you something from your food wish list and you need to update your shipping address or something, because Amazon wanted to ship the tuna and avocados to my house, they say it because there is no ship to address for your food wish list. So I quit.

        • Thank you for your generosity. Thanks for letting me know. I don’t how the shipping address disappeared. It used to be there and is there now.

  18. I wrote this after Rose McGowan revealed her rape which inspired me to tell my story. This is for all the victims of Trump or any perp. This is for victims whether they are female, child, or male; Yes, men get raped too, I did.
    Taking My Life Back
    “I am not here for you, or any man to look at, or touch. I am here because I am an amazing person with an amazing mind, and talent. You want to look at me then look at me for those things, not for how some outer beauty determined by you makes you feel sexually aroused. You really want to see amazing then look into my eyes, not at my body. Be aroused by my mind, my character, and my soul; not my body parts; I am not a sexual object, or possession, I am a person with rights, and feelings, and deserving of respect, and honor. You do not hold power or control over me; I hold that power and control over myself. You do not have my permission to make me feel ashamed, or obligated. You may not touch, slobber on, look at, or talk about me in any disrespectful, or dis-honorable manner. I will not make excuses for you any longer”. Inspired by Rose McGowan and Written by Daniel Paden, Oct 2016

    • Daniel, my brother, thank you for your courage to speak out and share your story. It is only when we victims speak out in our millions that enough people will believe there is an huge problem that must be addressed.

      Too many people are in denial about sexual assault. Why, some people are in such denial that they dare think it is only rape if it is violent. Any form of sexual intercourse without consent is rape. That is the legal definition.

  19. Effеctivelу, ѡhat does God like?? Lee added. ?Ι imply, we like cookies and cartoons and toys, however what
    sort of things are fun for God?? It was a query
    that for a minute Mommy and Daddy needed to think about.

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