Rape Culture: What the pedophilia cover-up at Calvary Gospel Church has in common with the Jeffrey Epstein case

We see it over and over in the news-priests in the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist scandal, Michigan State University, countless youth ministers in Christian churches… the list is endless. Adults rape children while other adults actively cover-up the abuse to protect their institution.

How can this be?

The short answer is that we live in a world wherein rape culture thrives. Rape culture is defined as follows, just so we are all on the same page:

Rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut-shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence, or some combination of these.

Pedophilia is a subset of rape culture, when the descriptions above are targeted at children. Because, honestly, if the bodily autonomy of anyone, man or woman, is not respected, it’s a short downhill slide to minors. What’s a year or two or three when you’re already depraved?

Children are generally more easily manipulated than adults. Kids who are poor, hungry, and lonely are most often the victims of sexual abuse. We see this in every story that comes to light. It’s the kids no one is keeping track of, the kids whose parents aren’t paying attention, and don’t have the resources to sue anyway. These kids have needs and when they are offered comfort, often don’t see the erect penis coming at them from behind the ice cream cone.

If they object or tell, they are shamed, blamed, and threatened. When Debbie McNulty told her pastor at Calvary Gospel about her molestation by a man in the church she was sent away with an “I’ll get back to you.” He didn’t, but somehow everyone in the church found out and blamed Debbie, who was branded a slut at eleven. Even the molester’s wife blamed her. Debbie’s molester was moved around, forgiven, and still pastors a church.

When Jeffrey Epstein ran an international sex trafficking ring for billionaires, a whole community of people knew: recruiters, pilots, housemaids, neighbors, etc. His victims, poor kids who needed money for food and clothes, were threatened to prevent them from speaking about their abuse. His joke of a prosecution chalked it up to soliciting prostitution, as if the little girls he raped were engaged in an equal exchange of power.

Men in power allowed him to get away with it.  They protected the system in which they control the power dynamic on a global scale. It isn’t one church or university or even government; it’s a world wide web of men. Yes, sometimes women are involved, but let’s be honest, it’s mostly men. Calvary Gospel’s cover-up of pedophilia in their church is a microcosm.

Their response to accusations of abuse is predictable. Accuse the victim of being a slut or a whore, no matter her age, and instantly no one cares about her. Easy-peasy.

She had it coming.

She was asking for it.

She wanted it.

You can’t rape a whore.

What was she wearing?

And there you have it, the men involved were seduced. They couldn’t help themselves. Even women will join in to hurl blame at the victims, so immersed are we in this culture of rape.

A shift is happening now, though. Not quickly enough, but change is coming, after millennia of voicelessness. For all of social media’s flaws, the ability to tell our stories to a wide audience is a pretty big plus. All it takes is one brave soul to go first and then other victims come forward. There are always other victims.

And then accountability begins, because everyone has to pick a side on this subject.

*Eve was framed.

ChickLit Café Review

I am THRILLED to share ChickLit Cafe‘s 5 star review of The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid:

HERE IT IS!

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell is a compelling, engaging and unrestrained memoir about the author’s journey toward acknowledgement, self-discovery and ultimately acceptance. It is a candid, straightforward and personal account of her intimate exploration to realize herself as a woman and mother, and to discovering and accepting her sexuality. With frequent refreshing humor, Ronna Russell recounts her memories from childhood, emerging adulthood, and her past as she relates to readers her rearing by a Pentecostal preacher, within the church and with all its stringent rules and practices. It details her shocking experiences with a controlling, oppressive religious father and a closeted homosexual husband, and her search for genuine authenticity. She writes with honest, eye-opening and jaw dropping description. Her confessions are those that most keep secret, but in doing so, she has brought readers a relatable and inspirational read that ultimately empowers women with the ability to survive and flourish.

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid is written in such brilliant, insightful way, with many pieces of the puzzle beautifully woven together to bring absolution to the reader. Ronna Russell’s truthful, passionate and unique voice shines through as she chronologically recounts her life from childhood to the most recent past. Heart breaking, yet inspiring, this memoir had me in tears as I turned the pages quickly to find out more about her indescribable and sometimes horrific life.

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell reveals how one woman was able to overcome her past, beat the odds and go on to live a fulfilling life in all areas, while now helping other women in turn. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends this raw, tender and well written biography to women that desire to be inspired, empowered and understand their own struggle surrounding sex —that leads to freedom.
The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell is a must read, 5 star memoir that is revealing, rich and filled with inspiration.

Purchase The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell today!

 

Recovering from Religion

There is help! Recovering from Religion is a website dedicated to helping folks deal with coming out of extreme religion. As many of us know, it is a traumatic transition, rife with fears and loss.

IF YOU NEED HELP follow the link below to find online HOTLINE, connections to groups, and an extensive resource page. RECOVERING FROM RELIGION

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS follow this link to VOLUNTEER.

I am honored to have The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid included on their RESOURCES page.

Peer Support

Need to talk to someone On The Phone?

Call 1-844-368-2848

 

 

 

A Little Heat

The owner of Spiritual Abuse.org is a staunch defender of my memoir and I am grateful. This is her Facebook post from yesterday (could be she is getting a little resistance?) My response to anyone upset about my book is: You’re welcome! I wrote it for you!

The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid can be ordered via the Spiritual Abuse Amazon page, if you are interested in supporting their mission. (link at bottom of post)

SpiritualAbuse.Org

We’ve been plugging the book for a straight week- have you ordered your copy of The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell? I believe both former and current United Pentecostal Church members could learn some things by reading this memoir (as well as people from other groups). Many will find themselves relating in various ways to her story.

Some may be hesitant because there is some sexual material in the book, but that can mostly be easily avoided by skipping the first chapter. Others may be leery because Ronna is no longer a Christian, but you might be missing out on learning from her parent’s errors (that’s too mild of a word), something that could be helpful in raising your own children, especially if you are raising PKs. When you see what she went through for all of her childhood, I have to say that it isn’t surprising that she walked away from Christianity. I think she is a brave woman for putting her life out there for all to see and I have no hesitation in recommending her book.

I think she picked a perfect picture for the cover as to me it shows her unhappiness. Things in her life became more sad, lonely and troublesome as the years of her childhood went by. It is what can happen when one is raised in an unhealthy oppressive religious environment and neglected as the ministry and ones career become more important than the needs of ones own family and children.

https://amzn.to/2K4JpeX