Paul's Passing Thoughts

Like Church Like Business: Victims Are Disruptive

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 6, 2018

ppt-jpeg4Newsflash: nurse aides can be abused. Newsflash: nurse aides are abused often. Newsflash: in every case where nurse aides still bother to submit a statement reporting the abuse whether from a resident or run of the mill workplace harassment, the nurse aide (the victim) is blamed. Trust me, a #Me Too for nurse aides would be mocked hysterically out of hand. Being groped and verbally abused is practically part of the job description.

Why is victim blaming so prevalent in business and church alike? As a nurse aide who has addressed overt workplace harassment, and in both cases was blamed in the face of cut and dry circumstances, I couldn’t help but to see the parallel in regard to incessant victim blaming that takes place in church. Methods employed by the victim blamers vary, but it is still victim blaming. Let’s first look at the different methods, then the cause.

My last experience was a classic. I went to the DON and reported workplace harassment. Her first step in dodging the ball was to suggest it was an isolated incident. When I informed her that it was ongoing, she asked me if I submitted statements. Full stop: as she well knows, aides who work in large nursing facilities rarely submit statements because they know it’s a waste of time. She undoubtedly figured this to be her out. If there was no prior written statements, she could label the present issue as an isolated incident where a few people were merely having a bad day, and gee whiz, we all have bad days from time to time.

When she didn’t have that escape at her disposal, she changed the subject to another issue that I had brought up, insinuated that I lied about that issue, and gee whiz, since I lied about that issue, and I am therefore a person of questionable integrity, it is at least possible that I incited the harassment. She couldn’t say that I lied about the harassment because a nurse witnessed it.  On the other wise, I complained that there was only two working Hoyer lifts in the whole facility (four units with eight halls), but that couldn’t be true because one day she saw two Hoyers on one hall. And since both Hoyers were seen on one hall, it only stands to reason there must be more than two. Alrighty then.

At any rate, for those of us who have spent a lot of our lives in church and have read discernment blogs, does any of this sound familiar? Of course, as I have written before, the basis for victim blaming in the church is carte blanche forgiveness according to church orthodoxy grounded in Luther’s historical-redemptive hermeneutics. We are all sinners saved by grace, so who are we to judge? And, there are no lesser and greater sins. And, you were raped? Well, that’s a shame, but you got less than you deserve, viz, eternity in hell. And, if you don’t forgive the way you were forgiven, you are not saved. So, ya, we can call the police, but is hell worth it? And, could God have prevented this if He wanted to? Well then, since He didn’t, it must be His will…blah, blah, blah.

But, the reason for victim blaming in any venue that involves money is the same: victims disrupt business as usual. In business, defending victims does nothing for the bottom line or paying the bills. In fact, dealing with victims in any business situation is going to cost money in one way or another, or several others.

Victim blaming in church happens in the same way it happens in business because church is a business, and dealing with victims disrupts business as usual. Why does the abuse happen in the first place? In any situation where hierarchy is present and subsequent power over others, the propensity for abuse to fulfill the evil desires of those with authority is always feasible.

In this way, as the Bible states, money can be the root of many evils. Pastors are warned not to be in the ministry for “filthy lucre.” And trust me, messy victim situations can mess with the pastor’s income big time.

Another angle on hierarchy follows: as a former elder I can tell you that any discussion of paying a pastor modest wages is sacrilegious. That is, unless it’s a bi-vocational pastor or lay-pastor. As a longtime elder, I can tell you unequivocally that the church mindset towards the pastorate is a pure business model and corporate mentality. On the other hand, what educated teachers are paid in Christian schools is disgraceful. Those who desire retirement packages etc. are considered lacking in regard to being “ministry minded.”

Bottom line: business is business whether it’s church or otherwise, and victims disrupt business as usual. In contrast, using others as an object to fulfill personal lust because you have control over their income or salvation can be seen as a perk for being important.

In all of this, victims remain in bondage. Why? Because justice places the blame where it belongs. Those under condemnation (the unsaved and those taught with bad theology) have a tendency to feel guilty to begin with. So, it’s easy to blame the victims because the tendency is to blame themselves. Furthermore, in carte blanche forgiveness which is different than repentance, relationships are still broken because carte blanche forgiveness doesn’t rebuild trust needed for valid relationships. The only thing served is business as usual while the victim remains unhealed.

Susan and I have seen this a hundred times; when we tell victims that they are not obligated to forgive their abusers until the abuser repents, you can see the tremendous burden being lifted off their shoulders. In every case, ironically, the victims are trying to forgive everyone but themselves because justice has not declared a truly guilty party.

To deprive a victim of justice because of moral equivalency is just plain evil, and leaves them in bondage to guilt and shame because those in authority don’t want to interrupt business as usual.


7 Responses

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  1. republican mother said, on February 7, 2018 at 8:30 AM

    So glad you connected the psychology of these two institutional arena. The mentality of the family is much different than that of a school, business or institutional church. For one thing, the mom and kids don’t work just to give dad 10% for a nice office with a library and conference trips. How can you have what the New Testament describes as fellowship in an arrangement like that? I know, the pastor “earns” the money because of the hospital visits and study time, etc. It reminds me of the fraternities at college where guys have to “buy” their friends. If I have to pay for you to come visit me, I really would rather you not come.

    Yes, victims and everyone not happy clappy really gums up the works. The announcer at church will say, “Here at ABC Baptist we are all one in Christ and love one another”. Not a word is true, but like a morning stand-up meeting at any corporation, they have to have their little pep rally talk to get the throng to believe everything is as they say. Of course when you don’t genuinely feel happy, the problem must be with you. Add on the generous heaping of guilt, and you have someone that won’t change the program on you.

    Another great piece Paul. I need to go practice my horseshoe pitching so that I don’t accidentally stub Jesus’ toe when the time comes for me to cast my crown! I don’t want to start the resurrected life on the wrong foot!


  2. Susan said, on February 7, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    You nailed it Paul. What you write is inconvenient truth. The “church” is no different than a business — except for the addition of a large heaping of religious guilt.


    • John said, on February 7, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      …and those “keys” that can keep you out of heaven, Susan, akin to some businesses who can keep you from visiting the cafeteria or something.


  3. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on February 7, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only people I read mentioned in scripture casting crowns are the 24 elders in Revelation 4.

    “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold…The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…” ~ Revelation 4:4, 10

    And unless I am reading the passage incorrectly, they cast the crowns at the one sitting on the throne which would be God the Father, NOT Jesus. So their whole notion about the saints casting our crowns at Jesus’ feet is erroneous from the start.


    • Republican mother said, on February 7, 2018 at 1:46 PM

      You are 100% correct Andy! I was being tongue in cheek. The idea that born again believers will be “casting crowns” is a fiction.

      I do know that Jesus said “eye has not seen and ear has not heard” what He has prepared for us. He doesn’t say you can’t speculate.

      I hope I don’t get a desk job in New Jerusalem. I’m aiming for some kind of field work. Lion taming is definitely out. Our family jokes around guessing what Jesus has in store for eternity. The one thing I know is that it won’t be lame cross’tossing, but actual reining with him type stuff.


      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on February 7, 2018 at 2:55 PM

        Sorry if it seems my comment was directed at you. It wasn’t. When you mentioned “casting crowns” I mistakenly recalled Paul mentioning it in this article when in fact it was in his previous article about the Super Bowl. My intention wasn’t meant to correct anyone but rather to point out the folly of such a Protestant talking point.


  4. republican mother said, on February 8, 2018 at 8:25 AM

    No worries Andy. Glad you put up the verse. One can say that no one casts crowns at Jesus in the entire Bible. That irritates the reformed bunch who “want to make much of Jesus”.


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