“A problem that most ladies have…”

“Ma’am, I’ll do the preaching here. You’ll be quiet while I’m preaching.” says Jack Hyles to some woman in the congregation.

“Ma’am, I’m going to ask you to leave, now, if you don’t quit talking while I’m preaching.”

It occurs to me that I’m very lucky. My parents never forced me to listen to the likes of Jack Hyles when I was growing up. I never had to witness a man preaching behind the pulpit, condescending to people who don’t have the same sexual equipment he has.

I grew up mainstream Presbyterian, which was bad enough. Actually, it wasn’t that bad… it was just very boring. I spent many hours in church, not really listening to the message. I’m sure my parents made me go because they thought it was the right thing to do. My mom played the organ. My dad was in the choir. My sisters were grown and gone. So I showed up every week and sat next to the wife of one of the choir members. I played Hangman and Tic Tac, Toe, ate M&Ms, Nerds, Reese’s Pieces, and Ipsos, read or colored in books, and stood up and sat whenever appropriate.

A word on Ipsos candy– they were kind of a short lived thing. They came in colorful plastic boxes with a flip top and a Lego like edge, so you could collect and stack them. I think they may have been British, but they were marketed in America for a short time. They disappeared at some point, and I’ve found very little about them online.

I got very little out of church, except for exposure to church people, most of whom were very nice. And never once did anyone in my church act like Dr. Jack Hyles does in this video. I can’t imagine why anyone in the 21st century would allow someone to speak to them in this manner. If I had been that woman, I would have gotten up and left, never to return. But then, I doubt I ever would have gone to such a church in the first place. I can’t even fathom it.

But then I think of people like the Duggars, who obviously subscribe to similar teachings. The women folk are kept in check and publicly chastised if they misbehave. I don’t know if it’s as bad in the Duggars’ religion as it might be at Hyles-Anderson College. Maybe it is… or maybe it’s not. I think being on reality TV might have made them a bit more worldly.

Shocking… If you watch to the end, you hear the vile Steven Anderson say that homosexuals should kill themselves. He also says they are akin to child molesters. So much ignorance!

On my old blog, I wrote a piece about former Hyles-Anderson College official, Jack Schaap, who once practically masturbated in front of the congregation. He presented God as a megalomaniacal lunatic as he “polished” a shaft. Look at this…

This is bizarre. I don’t know what I would have done if I had witnessed this live.

Jack Schaap is now in prison for having a sexual relationship with a teenager. But just before he was arrested, he presented another lecture about sexuality to parents. These people are leading churches across America. They fool people into thinking they’re fonts of wisdom, when they are actually damaging those who listen to them. If they’re lucky, it’s just mental and emotional abuse. Some people wind up being physically and sexually abused, too.

Yeah… preaching to kids was his “world”… and now his world is a prison cell, because he was sexually molesting the girls in his congregation.

The older I get, the less use I have for organized religion. It seems to be about power and money more than teaching morality and decency. It seems like religions are full of people drunk on power, hurting others. And yet, every week, people willingly attend church. They dress up, donate their hard earned money, and listen to these messages of shame while the leaders are disrespecting and possibly even abusing their followers. When I was a regular churchgoer, I had no idea about these things. I’m so grateful my parents never forced me to attend an extreme church. I can’t say that I think all churches are bad, but I do think a lot of them are off track.

It’s not just the men who are doing this, either. A couple of months ago, a 49 year old modesty preaching kindergarten teacher named Shannon Griffin was arrested for sexually assaulting an underage boy. Griffin, who taught at Jordan Baptist School in Burbank, Illinois, was charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault, one count of solicitation of child pornography, one count of distribution of harmful materials and one count of grooming. And yet, Ms. Griffin was well known for chastising girls for dressing too provocatively. Incidentally, Ms. Griffin’s husband is the pastor who runs the school. Two of their daughters also teach there.

I think about what it must be like for the women in these legalistic, culty churches. They open their mouths to speak and are basically told to shut up by the men behind the pulpits. If they persist in being heard, they are threatened. He says he’ll have them kicked out of the room, or even “jokingly” refers to physical violence. Granted, Hyles is dead now, but his disciples are still among the living.

“Sit still, or I’ll beat the dickens out of you.” And people think this is funny.

It seems like there are a lot more extreme people these days, especially when it comes to religion. When I was growing up, it seemed like most people belonged to a church. A lot of the churches mostly seemed moderate. Nowadays, it seems more like people are either atheists or very extreme in their religious beliefs. It really makes me wonder and worry… because so many people have died in the name of God. And so many people have suffered in the name of God… or fallen prey to a supposed leader who claims authority over them, thanks to God. Just something I’m thinking about this Friday… as I try not to think about how much I miss Zane.