Subtle Child Abuse at the Hands of Mega-Church

I met with a couple a few weeks ago. This time of year, I meet with quite a few couples about their weddings. This couple told me a story I hear far too often, a story that illustrates the hypocrisy of institutional religion in a very clear way. In this case, had the couple followed the church’s advice, they would have allowed the church to inflict abuse on their six-year-old child. It sickens me, and I find that I can no longer describe such absurd nonsense as anything but what it is – religious abuse.

The couple in question approached a local non-denomination church that they have attended for a while. Like most church goers, they aren’t weekly attenders but they do go fairly often. When the time came for them to start planning their wedding, they approached the church to start planning. As I mentioned, the couple have a six-year-old child that the groom brought into their relationship. They have full-time custody and placement of their child. The church’s response to their request to be married? The church told the couple they couldn’t marry them because they live together, but if they lived apart for six months or more, then they could be married by that church.

I have said in the past that such responses are completely unrealistic, that such a response indicates complete ignorance of the financial reality of most couples, that even if couples could afford to comply with such asinine requests it was poor stewardship to set up a second household for six months, that such responses are completely ignorant of the reality that at the time of Jesus couples came to live together at the betrothal. In short, there is no justification beyond the church’s power and control motivations for such a requirement. However, when such a requirement means that a child will have its family disrupted for reasons the child cannot understand – actually, nobody can understand why anyone who purported to represent God would inflict nonsensical pain on anyone, so the child is not alone in not understanding – the practice moves from stupid to abusive.

The practice absent children is nothing more than the church seeking to punish people for living into the sexuality God created them with. The problem is that the church is not anyone’s Mommy or Daddy – and even if it was, parents don’t punish grown people as if they were recalcitrant children. If they try, they discover the children simply don’t come around any more.

Hey, wait a minute…

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