[CONTENT NOTE: intimate partner violence and murder, suicide, abuse, harassment, rape.]
As readers surely recall, I am exceedingly proud of my half-assed, poorly-executed, highly irregular attempts to extract $82 billion worth of amusement every year from the Religion-Industrial-Complex on behalf of atheist U.S. taxpayers, on account of our government’s unconscionable $82 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies to the R-I-C. I humbly perform this service by mocking a particular church sign in the small town in Northern Maryland where my mother lives. Which, admittedly, I was already going to do anyway for my own amusement. It seems I can’t help myself.
Unfortunately this week’s sign offers scant opportunity for amusement: it simply informs us (yet again) that this Jeezus character is a creepy motherfucker who no decent person should ever wish to emulate. So instead of a good old-fashioned mocking, consider this installment an important public service announcement.
The sign presently reads:
YOU WERE CHOSEN
BY THE ONE WHO WILL
NEVER UNCHOOSE YOU
So listen. I’ve been in more than one abusive relationship (and have been witness to more than that). And I am telling you this message is threatening to the point of potentially triggering. It positively reeks of “nobody will ever love you as much as I do”—a classic abuser line, the subtext of which is that you are utterly unlovable, unworthy of love, and your abuser is the only person in the world willing to make a heroic sacrifice to put up with you.
But don’t just take my word for it. You can look up for yourself the Christian god’s appalling behavior, and consider it in the context of what we know about domestic violence and intimate partner homicide. And when you do, those words on the church sign will take on terrifying significance.
According to Jacquelyn C. Campbell et al’s Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide (National Institute of Justice Journal, No. 250, pp. 14-19, 2003), homicide risk increases for a woman when her male partner is suicidal. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Christian god’s entire raison d’etre suicide? Wasn’t the grand plan for him to send his son (who is also himself…?) to Earth in human form precisely in order to get himself killed—so that he could, finally, forgive everyone for being exactly as disappointing as he made them? WHY YES, YES IT WAS.
But that’s not even the half of it. Compared to several other risk factors, a male partner’s suicidality is barely even worth mentioning. Campbell et al also found that, with certain caveats, a self-reported danger assessment tool could reliably predict which women had a high probability of being murdered by their male partners. Here are the top five risks:
Partner used or threatened with a weapon.
Well, gosh. Is a lake of fire a weapon? Because being thrown into that for not acting right is one hell of a threat. (<-get it? get it? hahaha). Or how about the infamous “rod” with which godly parents are urged to beat their children? Yeah, CHECK.
Partner threatened to kill woman.
That god’s single command “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18) alone is responsible for unfathomable numbers of innocent victims of torture and death, the majority of them women. Meanwhile every other woman in Christendom lived under the threat of the same outcome. CHECK.
Partner tried to choke (strangle) woman.
Hey, remember when Jeezus choked two thousand pigs in the sea? Good times. To be fair, I’m reluctant to nail Jeezus for this particular sin (<-oh man I crack myself up!), because as far as I can tell, he never admitted to personally strangling anyone. However, from cover to cover throughout his entire autobiography, the Christian god treats women as breeding sows—and, well, we all know what happened to the pigs. :/
Partner violently and constantly jealous.
Woman forced to have sex when not wanted.
Let’s see: is the same god who impregnated a young virgin in order to make her give birth to himself? (You know: so he could grow up and commit suicide-by-cop. What a fantastic plan.) The same god who requires a rape victim to marry her rapist upon payment of fifty shekels to her father—or be stoned to death if no one hears her protests? (Deuteronomy 22:23-29). The one who encourages virgin women and female children to be taken as the spoils of war (Numbers 31:14-18)? That d00d? Oh, okay. CHECK.
The theocrats of the Christian right like Mike Pence insist that the US is a Christian nation. With domestic violence at epidemic levels, I am more and more inclined to believe them.
Have a nice day.