"Religion poisons everything." -Christopher Hitchens
Can you hear him now? Got it yet? Need more?
Oklahoma just took the lead in the race back to the Dark Ages, not to be outdone by Tennessee's effort to do the same.
For the pious, "progress" seems to involve constructing legal frameworks for covering up a lot of sexual abuse, rape, and child molestation.
Someone pointed out that according to Oklahoma's new law (if signed by the GOP Gov), it's written such that rapists can now basically choose the mother of their next child. If they have a daughter they can move to Tennessee and she can marry a rapey church elder after he knocks her up, just like Jesus intended!
This explains a lot about the source of much of this darkness, I think:
There is no culture of child abuse and grooming more insidious than conservative religion. From Roy Moore to Dennis Hastert to Matt Gaetz to the priest scandal, these men have always predated on children as their prerogative of power. /4
Like the Quiverfull Duggars & FLDS, the whole idea is to make women and girls the property of powerful older men and their sons, forcing them to have babies as early as possible in direct transfer of ownership from their fathers. Boys are frequent victims of sexual hazing. /5
Conservative small towns and Friday Night Lights cultures are rife with sexual abuse of children and they know it. It's just the "right" kind, in service of the patriarchal power structures. And it's kept quiet under the rug, repented for on Sunday and recommitted on Monday. /6
It's no accident that teen pregnancy is far lower in liberal counties and states than conservative ones. Kids in liberal communities have better outcomes and suffer less abuse. The institutionalized grooming is almost entirely on the Religious Right. And they know it. /7
But they play up this angle because it preys on their fears, because they know their kids despise their bigoted value systems, because they project the evils in their own families & communities, and because it justifies their intended policies of bloodlust against liberals. /8
And make no mistake: they will absolutely carry out pogroms based on projected QAnon libels as far as they are allowed when in power. And at the hands of Trump, a man credibly accused of raping a 14-year-old and going into teen locker rooms to see them naked. It's no accident. /9
As they might say, it's all Part of the Plan. /end
CODA: a lot of people have asked about the religious communities angle. So let me be more explicit about the cycle of abuse, silence, false redemption and projection in conservative religious communities: /1
Men are given full authority over their wives and children, and religious leaders over their flocks. They are presumed to have highest moral authority under God, and their actions are rarely scrutinized.
Many of these men use their authority to abuse kids. /2
Sometimes, as with child marriage, this is all socially sanctioned in direct patriarchal transfer of girls or abusive hazing rituals of teen boys.
But often it's not. It's hidden abuse, quiet and under table. Except usually these are *open secrets.*
The immediate families protect the uncle, the pastor, grandfather, whoever. They blame the child for "tempting" the Good Man. They blame Satan.
The child is forced into a cone of silence to protect the Family or Community or Church. This often leads to suicide or other harm. /4
The abuser, meanwhile, is offered an endless cycle of atonement & redemption through prayer--reinforcing the social order and allowing them to abuse again, only to be redeemed and "forgiven" again endlessly. This enabling is perceived as holy permanent struggle against Satan./5
This part in particular connects some interesting dots (emphasis mine):
***The absence of this cycle of shame and atonement in liberal cultures, along with open acceptance of non-normative sexualities and embrace of consent as defining moral line, terrifies conservatives and comes off to them as anarchy. /6
They assume that liberals must be shamelessly abusing kids all the time without sanction, since all of *them* know a dark secret in their communities and liberals apparently have no rules!***
Except we *do* have rules--rules based on consent and accountability. /7
We don't abuse kids institutionally the way religious conservatives do because we don't trust patriarchal men with that sort of power, we don't blame the victims (or Satan) when abusers abuse, and we hold them accountable publicly to society--not secretly to a convenient God. /8
So conservatives freak out in moral panics over the fake conspiracy Satanism they imagine happening in liberal communities without their toxic cycle of patriarchal "redemption," while putting cones of silence and victim-shaming around the abuses right under their own noses. /end
In the most evil cases, the reactionaries simply want teen girls to marry rich old men as in The Olden Days, & to kill gay people or force them into the closet while falsely accusing them of pedophilia.
None of this is an accident. It is an old story, just as QAnon is old libel.
For those asking for documentation? Seriously, just google it. There's a wealth of it.
Edited by TVCasualty, 06 April 2022 - 09:21 AM.