16. PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

‘Surviving God’: An Excerpt on God, the Church and Sexual Abuse

‘Surviving God’: An Excerpt on God, the Church and Sexual Abuse
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

‘Surviving God’: An Excerpt on God, the Church and Sexual Abuse  Ms. Magazine

“The message became part of us. Good girls and good women did as they were told and kept quiet about it. … What a setup for abuse.”

The following is an excerpt from Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M. Shaw‘s new book, Surviving God: A New Vision of God Through the Eyes of Sexual Abuse Survivors.

Surviving God: A New Vision of God through the Eyes of Sexual Abuse Survivors by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M. Shaw, published by Broadleaf Books on March 26, 2024.

The Terrifying God of Our Childhoods

The God of our childhoods was terrifying. Sure, He (and it was always “He”) loved us, but we also knew He could destroy us in a moment if we displeased Him. Poof! Like Lot’s wife, we’d become a pillar of salt. God knew us intimately and had complete control over us. Like an abuser, He asked us to love Him even as he threatened us with the torments of hell if we didn’t.

We were told not to question Him; we were to submit and obey. Our metaphors—Father, Master, Lord and King—reinforced this, and we were to submit and obey in the same way to the men who stood in God’s place for us—fathers, pastors, husbands, teachers, leaders. The very words we used to describe God—almighty, powerful, all-knowing, majestic, righteous—instilled fear in us as they underlined the sense that God could do to us whatever He wanted at any time, for any reason. And we were to thank Him for it.

Like an abuser, He asked us to love Him even as he threatened us with the torments of hell if we didn’t.

Week after week we heard the stories—Miriam stricken with leprosy, Sapphira falling down dead at Peter’s feet.

We memorized the Bible verses:

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse. A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day. And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.”

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord.”

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.”

We even sang it: “Perfect submission, perfect delight”; “I surrender all”; “Trust and obey”; “Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Hold o’er my being absolute sway.”

Everywhere we turned we were told to submit and obey—God, fathers, pastors. The message became part of us. Good girls and good women did as they were told and kept quiet about it.

What a setup for abuse.

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  1. Goal 5: Gender Equality
  2. Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  3. Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Conclusion

The experiences described in this excerpt highlight the damaging effects of patriarchal systems and the need for gender equality and justice. By addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goals 5, 10, and 16, we can work towards creating a world where abuse and inequality are no longer tolerated.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDGs Addressed or Connected to the Issues Highlighted in the Article

    • SDG 5: Gender Equality
    • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  2. Specific Targets Based on the Article’s Content

    • Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
    • Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres
    • Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
    • Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  3. Indicators Mentioned or Implied in the Article

    • Indicator 5.2.1: Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months
    • Indicator 16.1.2: Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age group, and cause
    • Indicator 16.2.1: Proportion of children aged 1-17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 5: Gender Equality Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres Indicator 5.2.1: Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere Indicator 16.1.2: Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age group, and cause
Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children Indicator 16.2.1: Proportion of children aged 1-17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month

Based on the article, the issues highlighted are connected to SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. The article discusses the harmful messages and expectations imposed on women and girls, which can contribute to discrimination and violence against them.

Specific targets under SDG 5 that can be identified are Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres. The article emphasizes the submission and obedience expected from women and girls, which can lead to discrimination and make them vulnerable to abuse.

Under SDG 16, the specific targets identified are Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere, and Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children. The article highlights the fear and control associated with the concept of God, which can be seen as a form of violence and abuse.

The article mentions or implies several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. Indicator 5.2.1 measures the proportion of ever-partnered women and girls subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months. Indicator 16.1.2 measures conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age group, and cause. Indicator 16.2.1 measures the proportion of children aged 1-17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month.

Source: msmagazine.com

 

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