Thursday, June 14, 2018

242NewsBahamas - Does God Agree With Rape (Weekly Highlights)

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Dear Readers,

Recently, in his role as former President of The Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, and current Senior, Pastor of Faith United Missionary Baptist Church, William Thompson, suggested that the government's marital rape bill was in open conflict to God's law and said his organization would not be giving sanction to it, in its current form. In the wake of that position, our Editorial team thought it necessary to address the issue via the following open letter, particularly as women in The Bahamas continue to advocate for equality and protection under the law. 

Dear Pastor Thompson:

As  young woman, a daughters, a sister, a friend and a survivor of sexual assault at the hands of a mate, I was generally appalled but hardly surprised by your decision to once again throw women under the proverbial bus for the sake of maintaining the patriarchal status quo.

Now before I go much further into this letter, I'd like to say for the record, that I am a believer, and more recently, (in fact more than I have ever done so in my 30 something years) I have been attempting to pursue a closer relationship with God. It has led me to re-examine things that have been long held beliefs of mine, so please do not see this letter as an attack on you or the church. What this IS, however, is a PLEA on behalf of myself and countless other women who NEED and dare I say DEMAND that the church change its narrative on this issue because honestly, OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.

I, like most women, know the bible verses; Genesis 2:24 which says in Marriage man and woman become one flesh, and Mark 10:9 which says what God has put together let no man (for the sake of this letter, man, will also refer to the government) break apart. These passages of scripture are often used to justify the violence perpetrated against women by their HUSBANDS.

These women who have chosen to do it "the right way", women who have gone before God and Man and pledged to love honour and obey, are being VIOLATED and BRUTALIZED by the men who according to the BIBLE are sworn to love and protect them and more often than not, there is no recourse for these victims. Why? Because their abusers are being sanctioned, protected and shielded from the law and by the church. 

Statistics on rape and sexual assault bear out one reality, that women, including MARRIED WOMEN often never come forward, mostly out of fear. A fear of not being believed, a fear of being blamed for what happened and a fear of repercussions.  I do not in my heart of hearts feel that the church WANTS to absolve or protect abusive husbands, especially those who violently RAPE or sexually assault their spouses. However, in choosing not to call this kind of abuse - what it is...RAPE, the church enables and empowers these abusers and rapists.

Not only is this extremely disrespectful and offensive to women who have experienced violence at the hands of their husbands but this position literally and figuratively TURNS ITS BACK ON ALL WOMEN.  And makes US, your mothers, your daughters, your sisters and your friends feel UNSAFE, UNLOVED and vulnerable. 

We put to you Pastor Thompson, that the position of the Baptist church, and those who support it is actually DESTROYING the sanctity of marriage, which you seem so bent on protecting. 
What is so often left out of this discussion, and biblical references are what I like to call, companion scriptures; 1 Corinthians 16:14 which tells us to do EVERYTHING in love, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 which extolls the virtues of LOVE (which I think we can all agree is the very foundation on which marriage is built). These companion scriptures tell me that LOVE should keep husband and wife to protect each other and preserve the sanctity of the institution. That RAPE, is not a demonstration of LOVE and is not a reflection of the love which God himself has shown to us or told us to extol to others.

Sexually Assaulting your mate because of some misguided and warped interpretation of the two becoming one is NOT a reflection of the love of God.

The marital rape bill SIMPLY seeks to protect women where their husbands, society and the CHURCH have FAILED! It seeks to hold men (or women) who by their very behaviour have stepped outside the laws of God and should, therefore, be made to face the consequences.

No one is trying to, as you put it, "invalidate or undermine the benefits of marriage". When done right, marriage is a beautiful thing. Marriage is quite literally the foundation of family life and should be protected. Unfortunately, sir, you cannot in one breath claim to condone rape and sexual assault while failing to acknowledge its presence in the confines of married life. THAT is the definition of what the scripture in James 1:8 calls being DOUBLE MINDED and a double minded man is UNSTABLE in all his ways. 

To be frank, it is that INSTABILITY in the thought process of the church that has contributed to the high levels of violence perpetrated against women both in and outside of marriage. That INSTABILITY says to the perpetrators that they can hide in plain sight, as long as they put a ring on it or claim religious sanctity.

The time has come for the church to stand up for women and girls in a REAL way. Protect us, support us and the sanctity of marriage can be restored, reaffirmed and continue. 

We reming him... of Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

The Women of 242newsbahamas

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Upcoming Calendar
New Providence
  • June 16th, 2018 
    • Men's Rugby:  Nassau Renegades v LSC Rattlesnakes 3:00pm at Winton Rugby Centre
  • June 30th, 2018 
    • Furniture Plus Art Competition: "Art from the Heart" 6:00pm 
  • June 25th - July 13th, 2018 
    • The NAGB Mixed Media Art Summer Camp 
  • July 16th - August 3rd, 2018 
    • The NAGB Mixed Media Art Summer Camp 
Grand Bahama
  • June 23rd - 24th , 2018
    • Bahamas Dance Theatre 22nd Annual Dance Performance 7:00pm 
  • June 27th , 2018
    • Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Monthly Business Meeting 12:30pm at Delphine Room,Pelican Bay Hotel
  • June 30th , 2018
    • Bahamian Farmers and Crafts Market at The Rand Nature Centre
Family Islands
  • June 15th, 2018
    • All Andros Crab Fest at Queen's Park, Fresh Creek
  • June 22nd, 2018
    • 42nd Annual Five Towns Regatta Time in Abaco at Green Turtle Cay
  • June 22nd, 2018
    • "Bimini Regatta Bimini C Class Regatta" in Alice Town
  • June 28th, 2018
    • All Eleuthera Regatta at Governor's Harbour, Central Eleuthera
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