Christian, Culture, Modesty, Personal

Brock Allen Turner

By now, you ought to know the details  – young man sexually assaults unconscious woman behind a dumpster…is convicted of 3 felonies…sentenced to 6 months in jail.

You also know all about his swimming talent, that he was an All-American athlete and a Stanford student…like each of these things somehow makes his crimes ok. Thanks mainstream media for making sure we knew enough about Brock Turner’s talent to ensure he is a sympathetic character. 

And Turner’s father? Well he thinks his son shouldn’t be defined by “20 minutes of action.” Appealing to the “devastating impact” the night in question has had on his son, using examples such as lack of sleep and loss of appetite, Mr. Turner pleads with the judge not to send his son to jail because “Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society,” chief of which is his commitment to educating other college students on the “dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.”

Judge Aaron Perksy used Turner’s young age and lack of criminal history as reasons for the light sentence. Because obviously a 20-year-old who’s never been convicted of a crime doesn’t know any better. In case that doesn’t make you angry enough, Persky literally said: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him … I think he will not be a danger to others.”

Are you serious? Poor young, tired, hungry Brock Allen Turner. He’s not dangerous. He has his whole life ahead of him. Why should we want to “severely impact” him? I mean, after all, he is only guilty of drinking too much and having a sex drive. Alcohol and hormones made him do it.

Of course, Turner’s victim was having none of this and read a letter in court detailing her attack and her feelings about the judge and Turner’s father. Her letter is powerful. Don’t read it if you don’t want to know the details of her assault.

Actually, read it.

You need to know, since the judge and the Turners think it was no big deal. I mean, with a father who belittles his crimes, is it any wonder Brock Turner showed not an ounce of remorse?

I don’t think my indignation is anything groundbreaking. I am not writing this to be a unique voice in the national conversation.

But I do have something to say.

I was raised in a Conservative Christian environment. I went to a private Christian school with dress code standards that put the Amish to shame, and I went to a private Christian college that often put that high school to shame.

Without going into detail, let me just say that miraculously (and I mean that literally), I have been able to separate the drama from the truth. Jesus and I are fine, but my kids will never go to a school like I did….

A school where, if your uniform skirt is suspected of being too short, you are forced to kneel at the foot of a male administrator to prove its length (long enough to skim the floor).

A school where the principal does nothing when a boy slaps your behind, but you get in trouble for rolling your eyes at a male classmate.

A school where your classmates’ mothers pull you aside at social events and tell you your outfit is causing their sons to stumble.

A school where girls rumored to be sexually active are given the scarlet letter but boys rumored to be so…well, we don’t talk about that. We make them RAs and team captains and put them in positions of leadership and representation for the school.

But I digress.

Actually, I don’t.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that another side effect of this “education” is the tendency to assume anything coming from “feminists” is crazy and anti-God. As a headstrong, opinionated, confident person, I was often encouraged to show more “meekness,” “gentility,” or “grace.” Somehow my personality was displeasing to the Lord, and might even show signs of my heart being held captive by the lies of feminism.

Female bible studies and prayer groups focused on our “godly womanhood,” and how this character would make us submissive wives and dutiful mothers. (If I hear Proverbs 31 one more time, I will vomit.) Our role as wife was evidently more important than our role as Christian.

Sorry, I am truly digressing now.

I say all of this to show you that I have been fighting the inclination for years (it must be said, none of this is the direct fault of my parents, love you mom and dad) to “side with the feminists.” I have been told to be discerning, to be wise, to be suspicious. Words like “misogyny,” “patriarchy,” and “sexism” were twisted by the feminists to discredit the Christian faith. My priority was to be demure, to be submissive. And I was good at it.

No. More.

No more will I stay silent in order not to offend those who taught me in school and church. No more will I worry if someone finds my independence and strength of conviction distasteful. No more will I pretend there isn’t a problem.

Why this change of heart?

Brock Allen Turner.

This whole thing.

This thing where we let men blame the alcohol or the circumstance or the women they rape.

This thing where we let pastors and church leaders treat women like objects.

This thing where we let men act like a woman’s attire defines her character.

I’m done.

Maybe one day I will write you a post telling you how my opinions and my faith are not at odds. But not today. Today, I am not here to console you or hold your hand or promise that I haven’t lost my soul.

Today I am mad.

 

3 thoughts on “Brock Allen Turner”

  1. I really like this post. I agree with everything you wrote. I think that you will find (if you haven’t already concluded it) that organized Christianity often presents the Jesus that suits our white male sis dominated culture. I get the part about the Bible being divinely inspired, but you have to accept that the New Testament was written by divinely inspired males in a male dominated culture. The male centric character of that culture is apparent in the text. The disillusionment expressed in your post is a good thing because it can break you out of a culturally impaired presentation of the Christian faith and lead you on a path of discovery to find the real Jesus. In Jeremiah 29 the scripture says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah was speaking to the captives in Babylon, but I think it reveals something about the nature of God. He wishes to be sought and found. So my advice would be to let go of all preconceptions and seek the real Jesus. I am confident that you will find him, the discovery will be sweet and it will usher you into a new and enduring faith.

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  2. I really like this post. I agree with everything you wrote. I think that you will find (if you haven’t already concluded it) that organized Christianity often presents the Jesus that suits our white male sis dominated culture. I get the part about the Bible being divinely inspired, but you have to accept that the New Testament was written by divinely inspired males in a male dominated culture. The male centric character of that culture is apparent in the text. The disillusionment expressed in your post is a good thing because it can break you out of a culturally impaired presentation of the Christian faith and lead you on a path of discovery to find the real Jesus. In Jeremiah 29 the scripture says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah was speaking to the captives in Babylon, but I think it reveals something about the nature of God. He wishes to be sought and found. So my advice would be to let go of all preconceptions and seek the real Jesus. I am confident that you will find him, the discovery will be sweet and it will usher you into a new and enduring faith. The period of this coming deployment presents a perfect opportunity for the search because several things that define your identity are being ripped away for a time. The loneliness and sense of loss, if handled well, can cause you to become completely reliant on God in a way that you don’t really need him when your life is full of support structures and people that can come to define you. I will be praying for you.

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  3. Amen Girl! This brings back horrible memories for me -growing up in the church of Christ. I still become so angry when I think about the garbage and lies that they taught about submission and the woman’s role in society – for no other reason than to keep women in subjective positions in their families and their so called “church.” Sexual abuse in families and in the church, as well as adultery, by men, was rampant.

    So many lives are scarred by criminal behavior – including this one 20 minute event. The woman was not granted a lenient sentence of 6 months to get over the humiliation and suffering she has endured – and will endure for many years to come.

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