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Why are Evangelical-Fundamentalists more prone to sex scandals
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Why are Evangelical-Fundamentalists more prone to sex scandals - 22nd September 2008, 01:04 AM

Sex and Fundamentalism

Sexual Abuse of Children by Protestant Ministers

According to this site, of the 800 plus Protestant Ministries with sex and paedophilia scandals, the greatest numbers are in Evangelical or Fundamentalist Christian ministries. We all know about the Catholic Priest problem that may be related to celibacy stresses or incentives for gay boys to go into the priesthood.

What is it about the finding that the greatest number of Protestant ministry sex scandals occurs in Evangelical-Fundamentalist Ministers with Baptists being number two? The incidence of paedophilic and other sexual scandals are proportionately higher than other Protestants and Christian Orthodox churches.

What is the psychological make up of Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, and the related Baptists that make them more likely to have sexual obsessions? From my observation, Assemblies of God and affiliated Pentecostal cults are common ones in reports I find over the years.

I will post my hypothesis (my opinion only).

Pentecostal Churches specialise in producing states of cognitive dissociation. One example of this is glossolalia (so-called Speaking in Tongues.) Glossolalia is not real words but gibberish with strong emotion that they interpret subjectively. Those who hear it also get different messages. Does dissociation of different compartments of the brain cause behavioural problems?

The Ecstasy or Charismatic states also appear to be another variant of brain dissociation. It begins with intense emotion and focus. Then it is followed by intense Limbic efferent signals. This activates the superior temporal gyrus that causes auditory hallucinations (voices, music) and the inferior posterior temporal gyrus which when stimulated can cause visions, typically of Jesus, Mary, or other mystical visions. While this happens, signals going to the Parietal lobules (body boundaries and spatial orientation) cause out of body experiences, or feelings of being one with God or the Universe.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | God on the Brain

An American Neurologist who secretly videotaped these in the 1990's noted participants seemed to be in a trance like state, arms up, eyes closed, uttering glossolalia, and significantly to my hypothesis; being flushed, making pelvic thrusting movements, and in one Kentucky man, noticeable penile erection bulging his trousers in the appropriate place.

I think that the experience so disorganises the brain that some people have even gone into convulsive like states (some possibly real seizures and others pseudo-seizures.

These spells when repeated many time might make the brain more obsessed with both religion and sex. Religion and sex do share many brain circuits. These circuits are amplified, the numbers of synapses actually are physically increased, and the circuits light up a larger portion of the brain on fMRI.

Although it has not been studied as such, it suggests to me that there are so many axons and neurons available for circuit incorporation. If emotional, religious, and sexual circuits are amplified and enlarged, does this cause some reduction or atrophy of rational and inhibitory circuits?

I would like other opinions about the phenomena of sexual abuse and paedophilia in certain religious groups and much less in others such as Orthodox. Please do not take this as an attack on religious beliefs. I am not attacking what these Evangelicals believe but the incidence of the peculiar behaviour described above.

It may be more a result of rituals or practices rather than creed.

Amergin


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Sex Scandals in Free Church Pews.
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Sex Scandals in Free Church Pews. - 22nd September 2008, 01:19 AM

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Sex scandals in free-church pews
Posted by tmatt

There’s a new sex scandal unfolding in the world of evangelicals, a small story that points toward an imporant and very complex larger story.

Here’s the top of a short, newsy report in the Dallas Morning News:

PLANO — A Prestonwood Baptist Church minister arrested for soliciting a minor online has resigned from the church, Pastor Jack Graham told his congregation Saturday evening.

Dr. Graham addressed the crowd at the start of the church’s regular worship service. He said the church had accepted Joe Barron’s resignation, which took effect immediately. . . .

Police arrested Mr. Barron, 52, Thursday morning after he drove from Plano to Bryan to meet with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl he had met online, authorities say. The girl turned out to be a Bryan police officer working in an ongoing Internet sex sting.

There’s a small clue as to the scope of the story in those basic facts. The church’s “regular worship service” is on Saturday night? Actually, that would be “a” regular worship service, since the congregation is so large that people worship in waves, in services at two locations. It is also important to note that Barron was “a” minister, as opposed to being “the” minister, or senior pastor. Here is one paragraph of crucial info:

Mr. Barron was one of about 40 ministers at the 26,000-member Plano megachurch. He’d worked there for about 18 months, ministering to married adults, ages 42 to 58.

Yes, 40 ministers in one congregation.

This scandal should blow over very quickly, since the minister in question is not a powerful figure whose name is easy to link to GOP politics. Of course, if there is some kind of link, then all bets are off.

But there is an important story here, one linked to clergy sexual abuse — in Protestantism. To be specific, there are important reasons that it has been hard for activists to gain much traction trying to bring more attention — justifiable attention — to the subject of clergy sexual abuse among Southern Baptists and other free-church denominations.

The problem is real. And there are also very real legal problems facing those who want to clean the situation up, complications that are different from those facing, for example, Roman Catholic reformers. I have been interested in this topic for some time and here is a piece of a Scripps Howard column from five years ago:

“The incidence of sexual abuse by clergy has reached ‘horrific proportions,’ ” according to a 2000 report to the Baptist General Convention of Texas. It noted that studies conducted in the 1980s found that about 12 percent of ministers had “engaged in sexual intercourse with members” and nearly 40 percent had “acknowledged sexually inappropriate behavior.”

Sadly, this report added: “Recent surveys by religious journals and research institutes support these figures. The disturbing aspect of all research is that the rate of incidence for clergy exceeds the client-professional rate for both physicians and psychologists.”

Sex scandals in free-church pews » GetReligion

Posted by Amergin


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22nd September 2008, 03:32 AM

Because body-identification is so strong in us, it's not easy to see ourselves as spiritual beings.

My theory is probably over-simplistic, but I feel that the more fundamentalistic religions are more primitive, and more focused on religion vs. spirituality, authority vs. autonomy and the body vs. the spirit/Self. My impression is that this is more often the case in the Abrahamic (western) religions, while many of the Eastern religions put more emphasis on transcending identification with the physical. Again, that's a generalization based on my impression of things. It makes sense, however, that the more one is identified solely with the physical world, the more importance the body plays and the more this viewpoint taints one's idea of sin. (The emphasis on sex, I think, comes from this body identification, but could also be partly due to the predominantly male influence in religious authority).
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22nd September 2008, 01:32 PM

Perhaps they are so strictly regimented in their religion that they practice that finally they just have to act out and get a release, somewhere, somehow.


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22nd September 2008, 02:48 PM

In my work as an educational TV Producer I've interviewed over thirty child sex abusers. Yes, some of them were involved with churches as ministers and youth ministers. from these interviews I don't think there is much more to it than the fact that churches give child abusers easy access to children, especially when they are in a position of responsibility. We spoke with one Baptist minister who had abused children for twenty years without anyone suspecting. Another indicated that he thought Christians are easy to fool because they want to believe the best about people.
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Newest Fundamentalist Sex scandal
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Newest Fundamentalist Sex scandal - 22nd September 2008, 05:46 PM

Pornography Is Target in Raid on Ministry

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/us...us&oref=slogin

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 21, 2008

FOUKE, Ark. (AP) — Six minors have been temporarily placed in state custody as part of a child pornography investigation after a raid on a ministry here, officials said Sunday.

The children will be in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Human Services as investigators interview them, a spokesman for the state police, Bill Sadler, said.

Mr. Sadler did not say how long the interviews would last but did say that courts would decide the children’s status in the event of any “long-term separation” from the property of the ministry, Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in rural Fouke.

He did not say how old the children were, but an e-mail message that the authorities inadvertently sent to news organizations last week referred to 12-, 13- and 14-year-old girls.

The move comes after a raid Saturday by more than 100 federal and state law enforcement agents. Investigators said their two-year inquiry into accusations of child pornography and abuse focused on a convicted tax evader, Tony Alamo, and his ministry, described by its critics as a cult.


Mr. Alamo said Saturday that the investigation was part of a federal push to legalize same-sex marriage while outlawing polygamy. He also said for girls having sex, “consent is puberty.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups, describes Mr. Alamo’s ministry as a cult that opposes homosexuality, Catholicism and the government.


There is more to this article. I recommend reading the full report at the website.

All of the above is quoted directly from the NY Times article.


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22nd September 2008, 06:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by angeleyes
Because body-identification is so strong in us, it's not easy to see ourselves as spiritual beings.

My theory is probably over-simplistic, but I feel that the more fundamentalistic religions are more primitive, and more focused on religion vs. spirituality, authority vs. autonomy and the body vs. the spirit/Self. My impression is that this is more often the case in the Abrahamic (western) religions, while many of the Eastern religions put more emphasis on transcending identification with the physical. Again, that's a generalization based on my impression of things. It makes sense, however, that the more one is identified solely with the physical world, the more importance the body plays and the more this viewpoint taints one's idea of sin. (The emphasis on sex, I think, comes from this body identification, but could also be partly due to the predominantly male influence in religious authority).
Good points. I remember seeing Animist rituals during my years in Africa. They were often quite bizarre but sexually suggestive dancing was also part of many of them. It might be primitive religions, and Christian Fundamentalism is clearly primitive. I think that like African animist rituals there is the unmistakable mix of animist spirituality and sex.

This reminds me of something similar in African Animist rituals and Pentecostal services seen in America. The African shaman and many of the participants go into a similar trance like state, they shake, tremor, make pelvic thrusting movements, and wiggle on the ground like having seizures.

I wonder if American Pentecostalism is an African tradition brought to Americans especially in the US South from slaves and former slaves. So perhaps Evangelical Pentecostalism is really Africanised Christian Fundamentalism.

However, hypersexuality is not simply in the more bizarre pentecostals but also in non-pentecostal Fundamentalists.

Does this mean that the sexual obsession of Fundamentalism in general comes from doctrinal obsession with it? Certainly Jesus didn't talk much about it. Or does Evangelical Fundamentalism sexually obsession go back to the Mediaeval Catholic Church? I recall the BBC reporting how Americans were focused for weeks on a 1.5 second exposure of Janet Jackson's breast while ignoring the tragic Iraq War, 45 million Americans lacking health care, and Televangelists blaming America's problems on homosexuals, witches, and unbelievers.

Whatever the cause, the connection of hypersexuality and certain religions is a fact. Does the practice of repeated intentional cognitive dissociation make people prone to loss of social inhibitions? This might explain the significant connection of the Pentecostal Evangelicals to sex scandals.

Amergin


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22nd September 2008, 06:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Tall One
Perhaps they are so strictly regimented in their religion that they practice that finally they just have to act out and get a release, somewhere, somehow.
That is a valid and plausible contribution to the hypersexuality. That would also apply to the behaviour of Catholic priests. So, do you think that the mental dissociative states (glossolalia, trances, swooning, shaking, and sexual arousal) has any part in the rate of Hypersexuality and scandals in Evangelicals?

Amergin


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22nd September 2008, 07:00 PM

You seem determined to find a way to blame religion for child sexual abuse. Child abusers themselves have told me that, except for religious believers being more gullible, what drew them to participating in church activities is the access to children in a way that they have some control over them.
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22nd September 2008, 07:26 PM

I think the piece that is missing here is that it takes a certain mindset to be a fundamentalist. I don't think it's the religion, but rather the type of person who is attracted to the religion. I would like to see some studies on the mindset of people who are attracted to fundamentalism. It might be a safe guess that some people who have emotional problems look to fundamentalism as a healing aid. I personally have known a couple of people who had emotional problems, have refused psychological help and think that God will heal them.


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