Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Girl With the Grace Tattoo: One Woman's Journey Out of Christian Fundamentalism

You can buy the book on Amazon, here. (ISBN: 1508475342 - Kindle: $8.99. Paperback: $14.95)The proceeds go to supporting Katy-Anne and her family. Buy the book. The little you spend will go a long way to not only helping Katy-Anne, but also shining a light on the sickness of Christian fundamentalism. Katy-Anne Binstead describes the sexual abuse and consequent fundamentalist apologetics in the book below:

Christian fundamentalism said that my nine year old self was a slut.
I was sexually abused for the first time when I was just nine years old, it happened at school and was done to me by an older boy. I had no idea what had happened to me, but I pretty much shut down talking about sex or puberty or adolescence with anyone, and so my mom got a book from the library for me to read when I was fourteen. 
When I read that book, I finally understood what had been happening to me all those years, and I didn't want to return the book to the library because it was so freeing to actually know what had happened to me. However, the freedom in knowing what had happened didn't give me any more freedom beyond that because I blamed myself and if I shared with the fundamentalists, they blamed me too. 
I was nine years old when I was first touched, and the first time I told a fundamentalist pastor that, he asked me what I had been wearing. I had been wearing the school uniform, bought by my parents, but the pastor told me I should have asked for a longer skirt and said if I was going to wear short uniform skirts it was an invitation to the boys and that I couldn't blame them for taking me up on my offer. He told me that at nine years old I was old enough to know exactly what I was doing and that I must have secretly enjoyed it and that further attacks were also my fault because I continued to wear short uniform skirts.  
Although I read several books that told me my sexual abuse wasn't my fault, that message was quickly undermined by fundamentalism. I developed breasts on the early end of average and when I was eleven and in sixth grade, there was a boy at school who constantly fondled my breasts, as if he owned them. 
The fundamentalists couldn't really blame what I was wearing because, although I was wearing the uniform, the uniform was a polo shirt and there was absolutely no way of showing off any cleavage in a polo shirt. So they told me that I must have secretly wanted it and that I encouraged it by my actions, and by the fact that I never reported it. 
When I told a fundamentalist pastor about being raped with an object by my father, he told me that I hadn't been raped, that my ten year old self had committed adultery because the Old Testament commands a young woman to cry out if she is raped or else she is complicit. 
I never understood how they thought I could cry out when this was a person that I knew and who I perceived as an authority and a person that I loved. This pastor told me that I needed to repent of my rebellion and ask my mom to forgive me for committing adultery with her husband. Although I had a vague idea at ten about what committing adultery was, I wasn't knowledgeable in the specifics. And besides, he had raped me with an object, so I hadn't actually done anything. But apparently laying there crying in fear didn't mean anything because I didn't scream and make things worse for myself at the time. 
In my effort to survive the attack, I was told I had committed adultery and deserved to be stoned to death for my sin. At the time he told me that, I believed him, although I could never bring myself to ask my mom’s forgiveness like I had been told to. 
It wasn't until many years later that I wondered what grade of crack I’d been smoking to think that a ten year old deserved to be executed by having a crowd of people hurl large rocks at her because she was too scared to scream while being sexually attacked. The truth was I hadn't smoked any crack at all, but fundamentalism was just as damaging to my mind. 
Buy the book

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