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Author Topic: The forgiving woman (beaten by her husband)  (Read 17653 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 24, 2007, 04:30:45 PM »

This has been split off from the "Interaction of our Orthodox and Political Worldviews" topic in the Private Politics forum.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12824.0.html

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You guys encourage my yawns sometimes.

On the point of whether Chrisitan rulers "twisted" the Gospel:
I recently heard a talk by Metropolitan Hierotheos in the Seattle area.  He told of a woman who confessed to him regularly who was beaten by her husband every day.  She eventually got cancer.  She told her husband "thank you for being so good to me" every day, and her husband continued to beat her until the Doctor told the husband that she had cancer.  The Metrpolitan once asked her "why do you say thank you?"  She replied, "Because I do not want my husband to have this guilt with him when I die."

She eventually died.

When the Metropolitan finished with this story, he said "This is the Orthodox life: to give Glory to God for all things."
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 05:24:46 PM »

You guys encourage my yawns sometimes.

On the point of whether Chrisitan rulers "twisted" the Gospel:
I recently heard a talk by Metropolitan Hierotheos in the Seattle area.  He told of a woman who confessed to him regularly who was beaten by her husband every day.  She eventually got cancer.  She told her husband "thank you for being so good to me" every day, and her husband continued to beat her until the Doctor told the husband that she had cancer.  The Metrpolitan once asked her "why do you say thank you?"  She replied, "Because I do not want my husband to have this guilt with him when I die."

She eventually died.

When the Metropolitan finished with this story, he said "This is the Orthodox life: to give Glory to God for all things."

I'm sorry, but that sounds more like psychosis than a Christian life; and it was highly irresponsible of the Metropolitan not to take a more proactive approach and at least insist that she leave her husband if nothing else.
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 06:24:29 PM »

I'm sorry
No you're not.
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2007, 06:26:11 PM »

No you're not.

I agree.
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2007, 06:40:45 PM »

No you're not.

So I lied about that...but I stand by the rest. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2007, 07:11:54 PM »

You guys encourage my yawns sometimes.

On the point of whether Chrisitan rulers "twisted" the Gospel:
I recently heard a talk by Metropolitan Hierotheos in the Seattle area.  He told of a woman who confessed to him regularly who was beaten by her husband every day.  She eventually got cancer.  She told her husband "thank you for being so good to me" every day, and her husband continued to beat her until the Doctor told the husband that she had cancer.  The Metrpolitan once asked her "why do you say thank you?"  She replied, "Because I do not want my husband to have this guilt with him when I die."

She eventually died.

When the Metropolitan finished with this story, he said "This is the Orthodox life: to give Glory to God for all things."
Oh I get it. The Christian life is about condoning domestic violence and the brutal oppression of women.
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2007, 07:23:10 PM »

The Christian life is about condoning domestic violence and the brutal oppression of women.
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2007, 08:50:11 PM »

Oh I get it. The Christian life is about condoning domestic violence and the brutal oppression of women.

It would seem that way... From the woman's perspective, she may have done something holy and good in forgiving her husband and not holding the grudge herself; but what the husband did is horrendous, and the Metropolitan has/had the responsibility to tell him as much - as an agent of the Church and as the one who stands in the place and type of Christ.
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2007, 09:19:19 AM »

It would seem that way... From the woman's perspective, she may have done something holy and good in forgiving her husband and not holding the grudge herself; but what the husband did is horrendous, and the Metropolitan has/had the responsibility to tell him as much - as an agent of the Church and as the one who stands in the place and type of Christ.
Perhaps, though--and this is mere speculation--the husband was not an Orthodox Christian. If the Metropolitan did not have the authority over the husband, there would be very little he could do for his soul except pray--as any good Father would. Since this story was on his mind, it seems likely that he did pray. Unfortunately, the husband must desire to change his ways in order to be saved; no one, not a Metropolitan, nor even Jesus Christ himself, can make that decision for anyone else.
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2007, 09:46:56 AM »

Perhaps, though--and this is mere speculation--the husband was not an Orthodox Christian. If the Metropolitan did not have the authority over the husband, there would be very little he could do for his soul except pray--as any good Father would. Since this story was on his mind, it seems likely that he did pray. Unfortunately, the husband must desire to change his ways in order to be saved; no one, not a Metropolitan, nor even Jesus Christ himself, can make that decision for anyone else.
Huh
The question is not the soul of the husband, but the body of the wife. He is a wife beater, and she is being abused. She needs to be kept safe from him. And what's more, it is our Christian duty to protect her from his abuse. To simply "pray for them" and do nothing is simply compounding the abuse because it is useless. Read St. James if you don't believe me:
"If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" (James 2:16)
As her Spiritual Father, the Metropolitan has a duty of care, for the whole person of this woman. He failed her.
Is it any wonder she got cancer and died? Wouldn't your self-destruct button go off if you were being abused in your own home and your Spiritual Father did nothing to stop it even after you told him?
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2007, 09:57:35 AM »

They were married, no? Hence ONE. Of course the metropolitan will care for both.
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2007, 10:03:36 AM »

They were married, no? Hence ONE. Of course the metropolitan will care for both.
By repeatedly sending the victim back to the perpetrator of the abuse and not keeping her safe? Not making the husband aware that what he is doing is known? Not removing the wife to a safe place? Not informing civil authorities that a crime is being committed?
How is this helping either of them? If "Sanctity of Confession" was the issue, why is it not an issue now that the poor woman is dead? 
He failed her.
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 10:08:28 AM »

Sorry, ozG, thus far I only read conjecture here and cannot form a real judgement, as if I ever could to that.
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 11:56:18 AM »

Sorry, ozG, thus far I only read conjecture here and cannot form a real judgement, as if I ever could to that.

Well, I don't see what the difficulty is...clearly the metropolitan failed in his duty both as a spiritual father and as a fellow citizen. This is an example of gross negligence and irresponsibility on the part of the metropolitan and of psychological disorder on the part of the woman who stayed with her abusive husband. It's a very sad story indeed, but not edifying in the least.
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 02:17:06 PM »

Well, I don't see what the difficulty is...clearly the metropolitan failed in his duty both as a spiritual father and as a fellow citizen. This is an example of gross negligence and irresponsibility on the part of the metropolitan and of psychological disorder on the part of the woman who stayed with her abusive husband. It's a very sad story indeed, but not edifying in the least.

And a psychological disorder on the part of the Metropolitan as well. Seriously, who in the right mind would turn a real life story about a woman giving glory to God for being brutally beaten into a spiritual anecdote for the edification of the flock? So when being faced with domestic violence, a good Orthodox wife should say "Hit me again Ike, and put some steak on it! Praise the Lord!"  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2007, 02:22:29 PM »

psychological disorder on the part of the woman who stayed with her abusive husband

Prove it.

Not that I disagree too much, but I still want you to prove your qualification to make such a statement (as I know you're not qualified), and the full basis for your diagnosis.  I can accept quotation from the DSM (IV or IV-TR, not older).
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 02:25:31 PM »

I am sorry I ever related the story.  I did it without context, and you are all so wrapt in damning others that it is fruitless to correct my story by now.  You've already done the slander, and sadly I sinned by supplying you the ammunition for your sins.
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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2007, 03:31:00 PM »

I am sorry I ever related the story. 

Well, how is this story any different than St. John Chrysostom who said, "Glory to God for all things" while being dragged off to be beheaded?

Whether or not the Metropolitan failed is not our judgment.  Whether or not the wife and/or husband had some psychosis is not our judgment either.  Each of us would handle this situation differently.  If this were happening to a friend of ours, how would we handle it?  What would we advise?

I have a girlfriend whose husband has cheated on her for the second time in 13 years with the same woman...with the assistance of his mother.  He verbally abuses her.  She could step outside her door as a single woman and would have the guys tripping over themselves to marry her.  She is a faithful, loving, pious, humorous, giving, smart Christian woman!

My girlfriend is in weekly counseling and has told her husband what the line in the sand is.  Is it my place to advise her to boot his sorry butt out the door?  No, it is not.  Would I like to do it for her?  Umm...sadly, yes I would.  But she has more love for him than I do.  HE is HER husband.  SHE determines what she can/will live with.  SHE is committed to the marriage even though he has broken the vows.  .  With only 6 weeks of counseling she has rediscovered her inner strength to throw it back into his face along with the knowledge that if he gets physical she has a place to run to...my house.

Now this is a tad different that the woman who thanked her husband...but not that far so.

Just my .02.  YMMV.

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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2007, 04:32:16 PM »

Now this is a tad different that the woman who thanked her husband...but not that far so.

There is a very fundamental difference between the two, in the case you gave her husband failed to live up the the social standards for a monogamous relationship. The acceptable remedies can vary according to social and environmental factors, while it would certainly be acceptable for her to leave her husband over this the social standards which dictate the terms of the monogamous relationship do not demand this course of action. While there are certainly many psychological factors that result, the situation at hand is ultimately sociological.

The situation in the story about the battered woman, however, does not relate to a sociological construct. But rather relates to the forceful overriding of the inherent human psychological disposition towards self-preservation, developed by the very evolution of our species, and the acceptance of such an extremly abnormal situation as 'normal'; even in the absence of any actual compulsion to accept the situation, the only true compulsion, considering the constructs of our society, is psychological.

And cleveland, this should be evidence enough of psychological disorder; infact this is, for all intents and purposes, the most objective means by which to evaluate 'normal' and 'abnormal' (not to say that sociology should not be used in such evaluations). Surely this is a better approach than the politically controversial DSM? Wink
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2007, 04:43:39 PM »

I am an old fella'...is this psychobabble?  Undecided
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2007, 04:45:56 PM »

The situation in the story about the battered woman, however, does not relate to a sociological construct. But rather relates to the forceful overriding of the inherent human psychological disposition towards self-preservation, developed by the very evolution of our species, and the acceptance of such an extremly abnormal situation as 'normal'; even in the absence of any actual compulsion to accept the situation, the only true compulsion, considering the constructs of our society, is psychological. 

Um, most animals have a self-preservation instinct... It is human altruism that bucks the (general, not universal) trend, in that it supports self-sacrifice for the good of another.  If self-sacrifice (of a religious nature) is what is intended by the woman's behavior, then this is the underlying support.

Essentially, your argument as presented actually attacks many people we hold as saints (and even Christ Himself) who had opportunity to leave abusive situations, and avoid near-certain death, but who chose to stay and face the abuse, sometimes with and sometimes without immediate corrective suggestions being offered to the abuser.

Anyway, my challenge was based on the fact that we have little actual evidence - no professional in their right mind can make an actual diagnosis based solely on the third-hand account (remember, we've only heard a summary of what the Metropolitan said); if you're so sure that it's a mental illness, my challenge was to tell me what it was.

And yes, while the DSM is politically charged (what isn't nowadays?), it does provide some helpful guidelines to discerning one illness from the next, and determining some reasonable baseline standards for diagnosing certain disorders.
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2007, 05:31:14 PM »

I am sorry I ever related the story.  I did it without context, and you are all so wrapt in damning others that it is fruitless to correct my story by now.  You've already done the slander, and sadly I sinned by supplying you the ammunition for your sins.
I am sorry you feel that way. It may have been better to have a context, as anyone's words can be twisted. But what was the point of your story originally?

On the point of whether Christian rulers "twisted" the Gospel:
I think you've made that point quite well. All of us are capable of twisting anything to make it fit what we want it to. If you have sinned, then we have too, and we are all guilty. May God forgive us all. Nevertheless, there is in your story an example of a woman who followed the teachings of Christ when he said, "I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back" (Luke 6:27-30), and who followed the example of Christ when he forgave His creatures who mocked Him, tortured Him, and killed Him, saying we did not understand what we were doing.

We are all outraged that the woman died, but why? Should we be similarly outraged that Jesus Christ died? We killed Him because we did not understand how to love Him. It is possible that this woman died because her husband did not know how to love her. This is not a time for passing judgment on the husband or the Metropolitan; in doing so we condemn ourselves, for we all have done the same thing. No, this is a time to be sober, and to reflect that we all have beat someone close to us, we all have killed someone we loved, because we all have failed to act as Christ would act. May God have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2007, 06:09:55 PM »

ytterbiumanalyst and Athanasia are closer to the greater context of the story.  The talk was on St John Chrysostom and living in the world.  To examine the story in light of his story and his obedience to the Gospel that ytterbiumanalyst cites is closer to where the messsage of the story lies.
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« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2007, 07:06:13 PM »

Um, most animals have a self-preservation instinct... It is human altruism that bucks the (general, not universal) trend, in that it supports self-sacrifice for the good of another.  If self-sacrifice (of a religious nature) is what is intended by the woman's behavior, then this is the underlying support.

While the human brain is more complex that that of other animals, that simply means that the manifestations of psychological problems are more complex; the underlying psychological causes and principles remain the same. The problem with using an alturistic argument here is that the actions were not alturistic...her husband was not benefited in any way by her allowing him to beat her without feeling any guilt over the matter. Allowing him to do this was to allow him to psychologically damage himself as well.

Quote
Essentially, your argument as presented actually attacks many people we hold as saints (and even Christ Himself) who had opportunity to leave abusive situations, and avoid near-certain death, but who chose to stay and face the abuse, sometimes with and sometimes without immediate corrective suggestions being offered to the abuser.

Of course, the Church has made a clear distinction in the past between those who by circumstance are compelled to face martyrdom and those who actively seek it. The latter is a form of psychosis and is condemned by the Church...and if martyrdom were the woman's goal, it would seem that she would fall into the latter category. However, it's quite likely that this was not her goal, but rather that she simply used religion as a coping mechanism.
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« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2007, 07:16:47 PM »

Of course, the Church has made a clear distinction in the past between those who by circumstance are compelled to face martyrdom and those who actively seek it. The latter is a form of psychosis and is condemned by the Church...and if martyrdom were the woman's goal, it would seem that she would fall into the latter category. However, it's quite likely that this was not her goal, but rather that she simply used religion as a coping mechanism.

Or maybe it's:

Nevertheless, there is in your story an example of a woman who followed the teachings of Christ when he said, "I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back" (Luke 6:27-30), and who followed the example of Christ when he forgave His creatures who mocked Him, tortured Him, and killed Him, saying we did not understand what we were doing. 
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« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2007, 09:58:39 PM »

^I believe it to be a great disservice to Christ's gospel to construe it to imply that one should seek out torture (physical and/or psychological) inorder to fulfill his commands. Of course we should love our neighbour and forgive our neighbour...but this does not mean that we should unnecessarily subject ourselves to pain and torment; though it is recognized in the gospel's that often hardship is necessary, it is not the desire of a loving God to inflict it upon his creatures.

Furthermore, as I mentioned before, it did this sick and abusive husband of hers no service to fulfill his perverse impulses, to allow him to continue in his abuse. While on a psychological and physical level this woman undoubtedly suffered more (far more than any should), on a spiritual level her husband probably suffered as much, if not more (though he probably suffered psychologically as well, even if he'll likely never realize it). To quote Oscar Wilde, 'Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.' And, on yet another level (a sociological level), society itself suffers from these actions, and the fact that they were allowed to continue without retribution by the law; and to not give condemnations where due only furthers this damage to our society...though it may benefit certain guilty individuals in the short term.

As much as it may be tempting to give vindication to this poor woman who suffered more than any should have to -- especially in our enlightened and advanced civilization -- in the end there is no virtue to be found, only pity for the sicknesses of not only the woman but also of he who perpetrated this abuse and of those who knew of it and did nothing. The only glimmer of hope that comes from this is the hope that society may learn from this and from this knowledge may take additional measures to hinder these types of activity in the future; or to, at the very least, punish with extreme vengence those who would perpetrate them.

One who would take upon himself the most exalted title of 'Metropolitan' should be able to recognize this and deal with it in a matter more responsible than is relayed through the story in the original post.
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« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2007, 10:24:26 PM »

The burns units of Afgan hospitals are filled with hundreds of women who self-immolate by pouring kerosene over themselves and setting themselves alight. In a country where domestic violence is not only accepted, but systemic, Afgan women find the only way to escape is suicide, and yet they choose the most painful means to do so? Why? Because they want to show that they have suffered, and that even self-immolation is preferable to the lives of oppression, powelessness and violence they are forced to live..
(See:  http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/26/1082831497190.html , http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=38777 , http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/arts/story.html?id=88a5a0eb-92d9-4684-967d-f1c4cbfd9561 ).

Are we, as Christians, any better than the Muslims in Afghanistan if we tolerate domestic violence against women? If we "spiritualize" domestic violence and turn it into a "martyrdom", we have in effect covered their plight with a berka. This is not martyrdom. These women are not being beaten and oppressed because of their Faith, they are being beaten and oppressed because they are women, and their cultures and societies consider women to be second class citizens, on a par with animals.

A Church which does not speak out against domestic violence and cultural oppression against women has no right to speak out against abortion either.
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« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2007, 11:12:03 PM »

A Church which does not speak out against domestic violence and cultural oppression against women has no right to speak out against abortion either.

Amen!
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« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2007, 11:34:21 PM »

Or maybe it's:

Nevertheless, there is in your story an example of a woman who followed the teachings of Christ when he said, "I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back" (Luke 6:27-30), and who followed the example of Christ when he forgave His creatures who mocked Him, tortured Him, and killed Him, saying we did not understand what we were doing.
cleveland,

I think ytterbiumanalyst was actually the author of your second quote.  An evident typo inadvertently gave GiC credit for a statement that totally contradicts his reasoning on this thread.
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« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2007, 11:57:59 PM »

The burns units of Afgan hospitals are filled with hundreds of women who self-immolate by pouring kerosene over themselves and setting themselves alight. In a country where domestic violence is not only accepted, but systemic, Afgan women find the only way to escape is suicide, and yet they choose the most painful means to do so? Why? Because they want to show that they have suffered, and that even self-immolation is preferable to the lives of oppression, powelessness and violence they are forced to live..
(See:  http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/26/1082831497190.html , http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=38777 , http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/arts/story.html?id=88a5a0eb-92d9-4684-967d-f1c4cbfd9561 ).

Are we, as Christians, any better than the Muslims in Afghanistan if we tolerate domestic violence against women? If we "spiritualize" domestic violence and turn it into a "martyrdom", we have in effect covered their plight with a berka. This is not martyrdom. These women are not being beaten and oppressed because of their Faith, they are being beaten and oppressed because they are women, and their cultures and societies consider women to be second class citizens, on a par with animals.

A Church which does not speak out against domestic violence and cultural oppression against women has no right to speak out against abortion either.

God Bless you George!
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« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2007, 12:44:56 AM »


cleveland,

I think ytterbiumanalyst was actually the author of your second quote.  An evident typo inadvertently gave GiC credit for a statement that totally contradicts his reasoning on this thread.

I was having lots of problems with quotations in that post.  Thanks for the pickup.
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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2007, 12:51:45 AM »

Are we, as Christians, any better than the Muslims in Afghanistan if we tolerate domestic violence against women? If we "spiritualize" domestic violence and turn it into a "martyrdom", we have in effect covered their plight with a berka. This is not martyrdom. These women are not being beaten and oppressed because of their Faith, they are being beaten and oppressed because they are women, and their cultures and societies consider women to be second class citizens, on a par with animals.

A Church which does not speak out against domestic violence and cultural oppression against women has no right to speak out against abortion either. 

I think you're right and wrong.

As a Church, we cannot support, empower, or "let be" anyone who is abusing.  Period.  Hence, why we've been questioning the Metropolitan's actions - it's not like we don't like him, but we should all be a bit suspicious if no one is trying to stop.

But from the perspective of the woman, she is still following Christ's law - it is a martyrdom according to Christ's own words, for He was not speaking to religious persecution, but rather generally to one's enemies.  That doesn't mean she should stay in the abusive household, but don't say that what she's gone through isn't martyrdom in the strictest sense (witness to the faith).  Support her, console her, protect her (and get her out) since she is a victim - and her suffering is a righteous suffering, which will be rewarded (see the Beatitudes) and which is directly in line with Christ's own suffering and His own teaching.
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2007, 01:09:00 AM »

That doesn't mean she should stay in the abusive household, but don't say that what she's gone through isn't martyrdom in the strictest sense (witness to the faith).  Support her, console her, protect her (and get her out) since she is a victim - and her suffering is a righteous suffering, which will be rewarded (see the Beatitudes) and which is directly in line with Christ's own suffering and His own teaching.
Cleveland, I hear you are saying, but I still really worry about "spirtualizing" victims of domestic violence. Making them "martyrs" sends the message that enduring domestic violence is "doing God's Will" and that staying in abusive marriages is "the better spiritual option", as though the woman who leaves a husband who abuses her has chosen a "less valuable" spiritual path and has "failed" in her "martyrdom". Walking away from an abusive marriage is a martyrdom also.
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« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2007, 01:14:06 AM »

Cleveland, I hear you are saying, but I still really worry about "spirtualizing" victims of domestic violence. Making them "martyrs" sends the message that enduring domestic violence is "doing God's Will" and that staying in abusive marriages is "the better spiritual option", as though the woman who leaves a husband who abuses her has chosen a "less valuable" spiritual path and has "failed" in her "martyrdom".

So is there a way of promoting the one while still promoting the other?  Is there a way to say "you've suffered for Christ" while also saying that leaving is the best thing?

Walking away from an abusive marriage is a martyrdom also. 

True.  I suppose the challenge is to acknowledge the sacrifice that the women have made while getting them out of the situations as quickly as possible.
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« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2007, 01:16:59 AM »

But from the perspective of the woman, she is still following Christ's law - it is a martyrdom according to Christ's own words, for He was not speaking to religious persecution, but rather generally to one's enemies.  That doesn't mean she should stay in the abusive household, but don't say that what she's gone through isn't martyrdom in the strictest sense (witness to the faith).  Support her, console her, protect her (and get her out) since she is a victim - and her suffering is a righteous suffering, which will be rewarded (see the Beatitudes) and which is directly in line with Christ's own suffering and His own teaching.

What of the Hindu or Moslem woman who is abused and suffers? By your reasoning they too must be martyrs of the Christian faith. Though I have a feeling that this would be a step towards unitarianism with which you may not be comfortable...but consistancy would require this approach.

The point is that religion in this case is immaterial, the abuse is just that, abuse...it need not be exalted and draped in religious terminology. The sad reality must be confronted, and the problem addressed, glorifying abuser or abusee are both equally damaging to this end and both equally lead to the justification of this destructive conduct and the undermining of the responsibilities of both church and society.
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« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2007, 01:32:58 AM »

The point is that religion in this case is immaterial
I disagree. I think the equality of men and women should be a religious question in any human religion. Also, I can see what cleveland is saying. In the example I gave of the hundreds of Afghan women who self immolate, the reason they are burning themselves is because their pain is not being acknowledged. The Church needs to both recognise the suffering of women who are abused in their own homes, as well as their suffering when they have to leave their homes because of it, and should help them to do so. The Church recognising the suffering of women could empower them to make the move to leave the abuser.
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« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2007, 01:49:26 PM »

What I find interesting about this conversation is that in the context of his talk, the Metropolitan was drawing a connection to the Gospel to forgive enemies and a parallel to St John Chyrsostom.  Whether or not he intervened to help save the woman from her husband by encouraging her to leave or reporting the case to the civil authorities was not the point.  It was not a talk about domestic violence issues - and I can see how it leads to confusion upon later reflection.  I believe several excellent points have been raised - mainly "spiritualizing" domestic abuse, the problems of taking pastoral experience out of context (which is almost this whole thread), and equal political rights.
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« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2007, 03:01:09 PM »

I am still pondering this 'case' - so far as we know it. It strikes me that the husband was guilty of adultery - the only allowable, technically, reason an ecclesiastical court would recognize for divorce. The wife obviously refused that recourse (if indeed the bishop would have allowed that). Does this have an hypothetical bearing here?
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« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2007, 03:07:37 PM »

Adultery?  For beating her?  Psychological abuse and physical battery (murder, by Christ's expanded definition) sure, but I'd like to hear where the adultery part comes in.
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« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2007, 03:13:26 PM »

Sorry, I thought I read that he was an abusive adulterer when this was in Private area...never mind...
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« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2007, 03:17:13 PM »

No... There was a second story about a friend of a poster who has an adulterous husband.  But that was separate.
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« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2007, 04:39:28 PM »

Was there any indication that the Metropolitan had tried to "get her out" and that she had refused?  What if the Metropolitan had attempted to intervene but she saw this as a calling to witness to her husband?  Without making this a hard-and-fast, "you must react this way" type of mandate, could this have been her choice, in spite of her husband's horrific behavior?  What would we make of this if it were an act done in "sovereign freedom" out of a desire to see a sin not held against her husband, out of a belief that he "knew not what he did"?

I couldn't help but think about St. Ignatius of Antioch who, even though he was forcibly brought to Rome to be thrown to the lions, spoke of his impending "doom" with nothing but excited anticipation.  Is he, therefore, mentally deluded or morbid?  While the deaths were, of course, motivated for different reasons, they have in common the disregard for personal safety and well-being for the sake of the salvation of another's soul.  Sometimes grace is given for things like this;  I wonder if those decrying her return would have told St. Ignatius to escape...or Christ to avoid Jerusalem...

Regarding the gender oppression issue...I'm not saying whether she was right or wrong to do what she did in her case--God knows--but while the husband wasn't beating her specifically for being a Christian, was he therefore beating her for being a woman?  The story doesn't say that, either; it could be he was beating her up just because he could and because he felt compelled to do violence to someone and felt he could do so "safely" within a marriage.  Fr. Alexander Schmemman talked about how folks today are so concerned with equality--"Why him and not me," etc--when in reality there are no rights--no one clamoring for them and such--when real love is involved. 

Again, not excusing the abuse of others, and not establishing a rule of "going back to him," but...also not ruling out that there may be more to some cases than meets the eye...
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« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2007, 04:52:03 PM »

How does one get cancer and die from getting beaten?  Huh
I think there isn't enough information to critique what happened. Theoretically if it did go down as has bin suggested. Than I would say that she can be called a martar simply because out of love for her husband she didn't give him up to the authorities and was also holding on to the possiblity that her huband would be transformed and be saved. This woman definatly wasn't an American. American woman don't even put up with yelling from there spouse let alone a beating. She would probable have the lawers number on speed dial as well. Speculation ofcourse.
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« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2007, 04:59:05 PM »

This woman definatly wasn't an American. American woman don't even put up with yelling from there spouse let alone a beating. She would probable have the lawers number on speed dial as well. Speculation ofcourse.

You obviously have never watched an episode of COPS or have ever visited a battered woman's shelter.  There are thousands of American women who put up with spousal abuse on a daily basis.
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« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2007, 07:29:20 PM »

You obviously have never watched an episode of COPS
I don't have to I live in NYC.  Cheesy

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« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2007, 12:10:47 AM »

You obviously have never watched an episode of COPS or have ever visited a battered woman's shelter.  There are thousands of American women who put up with spousal abuse on a daily basis.
I guess it's for much the same reason why many people would much rather keep a dead relationship going than break the relationship off in the hope of starting a much better one with someone else, or even just enjoying life alone.  Call it unhealthy attachment borne out of one's fear of the unknown.  "Sure, he treats me like ****, but if I leave him, I may never find another man who will love me."  Irrational?  Absolutely!  But this fear is very real to the person suffering it, and many--it's not just women--are paralyzed by this.
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« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2007, 09:36:09 AM »

I guess it's for much the same reason why many people would much rather keep a dead relationship going than break the relationship off in the hope of starting a much better one with someone else, or even just enjoying life alone.  Call it unhealthy attachment borne out of one's fear of the unknown.  "Sure, he treats me like ****, but if I leave him, I may never find another man who will love me."  Irrational?  Absolutely!  But this fear is very real to the person suffering it, and many--it's not just women--are paralyzed by this.

That's my point exactly.  One doesn't have to be from another country or culture to feel the irrational fear that keeps people in horrible relationship situations.  There are thousands of native-bornAmericans, both men and women, who are in abusive relationships out of fear, especially in "middle America".  Demetrios G. mentioned he lives in NYC, where people actually do have far greater access to services for the battered. 

Most of America doesn't.

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« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2007, 11:41:16 AM »

There's fear, and also the strange fact that the abused still have feelings for their abusers.  I put up with emotional abuse for months from one guy, even wanted him back when he left, because I still felt I loved him.  I did protest when he treated me badly, but I never left him.
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« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2007, 12:26:41 PM »

I am still pondering this 'case' - so far as we know it. It strikes me that the husband was guilty of adultery - the only allowable, technically, reason an ecclesiastical court would recognize for divorce. The wife obviously refused that recourse (if indeed the bishop would have allowed that). Does this have an hypothetical bearing here?

I'm probably showing my ignorance here, but I thought apostasy was also grounds for divorce?  And in all Christian compassion, wouldn't fear of death at the hands of your spouse be acceptable by a church court as well?
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« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2007, 12:29:42 PM »

I'm probably showing my ignorance here, but I thought apostasy was also grounds for divorce?  And in all Christian compassion, wouldn't fear of death at the hands of your spouse be acceptable by a church court as well?

He's talking about the explicitly stated reasons given by Christ for leaving one's spouse.  The Church has a wider allowance in many cases than this: abuse, apostasy, etc. are normally included.
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