Sex Sells, Sex Provides

[From the archives.]


The mother stood in my courtroom, arguing for custody; the father hadn’t bothered to show up. She had no lawyer but was well dressed, well groomed and well spoken. I’d read through her paperwork and didn’t see her occupation, so I asked her.

“I’m an exotic dancer.”

Exotic dancer? I asked in my head. You mean like a stripper?

Out loud I coughed slightly and said, “And what’s your monthly income?”

She told me, and by the end of the hearing I awarded her custody of her son.

Later back in chambers I had a question for my clerk. “That mom, the exotic dancer. Do you think that means she’s a stripper?”

“Oh come on, Judge,” she said from her desk. “What other kind of exotic dancer is there?”

That led me to another question.

What kind of society is it that makes young fathers feel that they can leave their children behind, forcing the mother to raise the child all on her own?

A Community Subsisting on the Sex Trade

Here’s an article that broke my heart and brought me hope at the same time.

A village in Gujarat hosted a mass wedding and engagement ceremony of 21 girls on Sunday aimed at breaking a tradition of prostitution which has for centuries exploited women of a poor, marginalised and once nomadic community in the region.

The article explains that this village’s inhabitants once served warring factions by selling their daughters to warlords as entertainers, dancers, sex slaves. The government has tried to help the village build an economy, but farming isn’t as profitable as prostitution so they continued to sell their daughters. One government official said, “Prostitution is a tradition which this community adopted for ages and it has been very normal for them. They did not think they were doing anything wrong.”

Where did I find hope in this? Working as a prostitute lasts only until the woman is engaged to be married so the government and a group of social activists organized a mass wedding of young women before they entered the sex trade. Eight got married and thirteen more got engaged, ending the possibility of life as a prostitute for those twenty-one young women. In a village of 50,000 people it’s not much, but it’s a start.

Ransoming Slaves

It didn’t come cheap. The activists spent $18,000 to make this happen. In a country where the average annual salary is about $1,300 this is a fortune.

We who belong to Jesus Christ should be able to relate. We’ve been ransomed too. The ransom was high: it cost Jesus his life. But that’s who he is, it’s what he does. He sets captives, slaves, the oppressed free!

Our Neighbors: oppressed, captive, enslaved

It’s easy to look at that village and shake our heads at how a society could go so far down that road, so far that prostitution is not only condoned but depended upon for daily sustenance.

Remember the young mother I spoke of at the beginning of this article? That’s not in some far off village of former nomads. That’s here and now.

She takes her son to school, she goes to PTA meetings and parent/teacher conferences, she drives him to soccer practice, and she goes to court to make sure there is a legal order that says she gets to make the decisions about what’s best for her son.

She works as an exotic dancer to make this all possible.


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53 Responses to Sex Sells, Sex Provides

  1. Laura Droege says:

    This post is still just as powerful as when I first read it. So what would really help the exotic dancers so that they don’t have to strip to support their child? The problem winds back so far…lousy educational system (so the girls don’t have great job possibilities after/if they graduate) … a lucrative job in the sex industry (looks more profitable than the other possibilities, if those even exist) . . . a society that devalues sex and human dignity (which makes the sex industry lucrative) . . . and far too many other things that I can’t think about because I either don’t know (ignorance) or am brain-tired (caffeine-deprivation).

    • Tim says:

      Laura, I think the work of Christians is to serve those in need, show them respect and care where they are at now. Fixing society is a tall order, but helping the person in front of us is doable.

  2. Someone I used to know at college had a part-time job as a pole dancer. She didn’t see anything wrong with it. Quite the contrary – it was good money. She was aiming to train as a paramedic. So maybe it depends on your perspective as to whether you’re driven to it. To me, it was unthinkable. To her it was a bit of fun.

  3. Jeannie says:

    Feeling overwhelmed by a problem can immobilize us — we wonder how we can possibly make a difference, so we do nothing. But you’re right: “whatever you do, it’s a start.”

    • Tim says:

      I know it’s a cliché, but the journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step. I find that once I take the first step it’s usually easier to take the next. Helping people leads to helping people.

  4. Thanks, Tim, Laura, Sandy, and Jeannie. Thoughts to ponder; life to evaluate.

  5. John Allman says:

    “What kind of society is it that makes young fathers feel that they can leave their children behind, forcing the mother to raise the child all on her own even if it means she has to take a job in a strip club?”

    You make too many assumptions.

    You don’t know why the father didn’t attend the court hearing. He was a PARTY to the proceedings, and COULD have turned up. So he was TRYING to get sole custody or joint custody, or there wouldn’t have been a contested hearing for him to miss.

    Secondly, in what sense was he “forcing” the mother to take a job in a strip club? For all you know, he might have wanted to marry her, and to support her and their child from his wages, but she calculated that she would be better of financially dumping him, and working in a strip club.

    Perhaps he was out of work. It is difficult for some men to GET work, much more difficult than it is for women.

    Perhaps the welfare system carries a “couple penalty”, so that the family was not economically viable. This is happening on a massive scale.

    Perhaps she could afford to pay a lawyer, or was able to represent herself in court, but he wasn’t able to do either. Perhaps he was stuck in a traffic jam, or in a coma, or had been evicted from the address to which notice of the hearing had been served. Perhaps he had spent his last $100 paying a lawyer to advise him to withdraw his application for sole or shared custody, because the judges were all gender-bigots, who never gave fathers parenting rights equal to those of mothers (except for you, of course). Maybe that lawyer warned him that if he lost, he’d have to pay the mother’s costs.

    You simply don’t know why the father wasn’t there. It is very unlikely to have been because he felt that he could leave his children behind, or that he wanted to force the mother of his child to work in a strip club. He might not have known about her employment, and would have been horrified to learn of it, and would have robbed a bank to pay a lawyer, rather than leave his son or daughter in that situation.

    I am reminded that the ignorant, bigoted assumptions (like yours) that members of the judiciary make, about fathers and mothers – the sheer, feminist-inspired misandry amongst privileged males presiding over family courts, who betray the interests of underclass males and children daily in my country, plays, in furthering the destruction of marriage, the family and patriarchy.

    This mothers immorality and greed is as likely to be the cause of her child losing his father as the irresponsibility of the father is likely to be the cause of the mother’s sacrificing of her virtue for money.

    What kind of society has caused this, assuming that your assumptions are right? A society in which half a century of Marxist gender politics has empowered mothers and disempowered fathers, of course.

    John Allman
    Leader of the new political party Restore the Family for Children’s Sake – “Both parents, every child, wherever possible” – which I formed this week, with the intention of fighting Parliamentary seats in the forthcoming British general election

    • Tim says:

      John, I actually do know the answer to many of those points you raise. I didn’t include every detail from the case in this post because to do so would take a lot more space than a blog post should take.

      You should come sit in my courtroom some day. I’ll take you to lunch afterward.

      Blessings on you,

      • John Allman says:

        Thank you, Tim, for your kind invitation to come and watch you give their own way to the gender-confused and the mother who so desperately wants to be a lone parent that she is fighting an application for shared custody and is willing to get naked for a living rather than allow her child’s father to help her to raise their child; to cite two recent examples of your workload that you have blogged about, as you sit in judgment in your American family courts. Since we live on different continents, I cannot take up your kind offer. If you ever come to the UK, though, then you are welcome to observe a day in my own very different life.

        In the UK, you couldn’t make that offer, because here we have secret courts that hear all cases concerning family matters. The only people who can be present are the parties, their legal team members, and the court staff, including the judge. Complain about injustice in a British family court, only if you want to go to jail. If you do complain, you will be alone. Nobody else will have been in the room when your life was laid waste.

        I am so happy to learn that the USA still has open justice, albeit a little surprised to make this happy discovery. Ordinarily, I expect the USA to be more advanced than the UK rather than lagging behind us, including when it comes to having travelled further along the path towards the abolition of open justice.

        Suing an intelligence agency about one’s “human rights” (Convention rights, that is) in open court is impossible in the UK. As it happens, my weekend overtime task this particular weekend, happens to be to draft my input into a skeleton argument that will give permission to appeal to a client of mine who set out to sue and intelligence agency in open court for harassment. It’s this case:

        Philip Kerr -v- MI5

        I am suing a local authority, in a case that has been anonymised. My defendant is trying to get private hearings. To date, there has been an impressive public attendance at the interlocutory hearings. The judges, under such public scrutiny, haven’t yet dared to throw out my case. That might change in due course. If it does, my strategy will be to take up my MP’s offer to raise my case on an occasion of Parliamentary privilege, if the court tries to hush it all up, as I fear it might.

        How refreshing to have a judge actually inviting me to enter his court room, instead of telling me or somebody else that the trials he conducts are SECRET trials, which they are not allowed to watch. Long live America!

    • John, I think it’s terrific that you want to help families. However, you’re making a few assumptions as well, and not even using proper punctuation as you do so. As in, “This mothers immorality and greed” –it’s “mother’s” and it might not actually be immorality but rather practicality. And greed? How so?
      Since he has all the court documents, but didn’t necessarily share all of them in this post, it’s not very fair to say Tim “simply didn’t know” why the father didn’t show in court. He very likely did know, but just didn’t write about it.
      Also, you didn’t read very carefully–the first sentence points out that she had no lawyer.
      I agree with Tim that you should sit in his courtroom someday. Especially since you intend to advocate for children politically, it would probably be helpful and educational.

      • Tim says:

        You’ve hit on the types of things we look into carefully before making orders in these cases, Keri, thanks. And on top of the ones you mention, there are a number of other issues that need to be proven. It would make for a very boring blog post if I tried to replicate them all, though!

      • John Allman says:

        Keri, I fall on my sword, over that unpardonable typo, an omitted apostrophe.

        “Immorality and greed”, versus “practicality”: Hmm. I can see that this isn’t a dispute about facts, but about *spin*. Let’s compromise, shall we? Let’s agree what to call that which I first called “immorality and greed”, and which you countered was merely “practicality”. Let’s call it, “Pragmatic earnings optimisation, demanded by enacting the actus reus of sexual immorality, in circumstances in which it is arguable that the mens rea was absent, due to the professional motivation of the stripper concerned (i.e. money).”

        Mind you, the “practicality” of the sex industry in the “village” (population 50,000 – what in Europe we call a “city”) that Tim went on to mention, for whose inhabitants this has been a right old meal ticket for centuries by all accounts, is probably as good a reason as any for you to admonish Tim that he is worrying about nothing, and should desist from condoning such interfering Christian cultural imperialism, the subsidising extravagantly and unsustainably of gestures of repentance that play no useful part in seeding alternative industries capable of generating revenue streams that will rival that of the robust sex industry that figures large in that village’s present economy.

        (Please check my punctuation again, honey.)

  6. Tim, great post. I think the same impetus that drives a woman to seek out this lucrative but questionable trade is the same one that drives young men to sell drugs–they can make so much more, so much faster, than they can if they get a minimum wage job. The solutions are not simple, and the factors that move people to make bad choices when they’re desperate are overwhelmingly complex.

    • Tim says:

      That’s an apt comparison, Keri.

      And on making bad choices, sometimes they just don’t get that there is another way that is more appropriate. I remember one young man who was in court and I was deciding whether to place him on probation or sentence him into custody. One factor, of course, is how well they might be able to handle the responsibilities of probation.

      This young man was about 19 or 20, and the probation officer’s report to the court said in their interview the young man had said he wanted to be better at carrying out his responsibilities. One plan he had was that he might have a child because a lot of his friends already had kids and that meant they were growing up. This young man wasn’t married, and he said neither were the friends he spoke of. In fact, he didn’t live with his girlfriend and had no plans to do so. He just thought having a child meant he was a responsible person, so he thought it was time to have a child.

      Poor choices are born of many causes.

  7. Dee Parsons says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you.

  8. Rev. Carlene Appel says:

    Mr. Allman what’s wrong with the destruction of patriarchy as long as we don’t go to the other extreme of matriarchy? Both are oppressive and many injustices are the result when things are taken to the extreme. I don’t ever want to go back to the times when it was legal for a man to beat and rape his wife, or that I was denied the right to vote or drive. On the other end of the spectrum, some of the most oppressive bosses I’ve had have been female. This saddened me that they thought it was OK to behave in such an unacceptable manner. All that does is provide more ammunition to those who think patriarchy was the best thing since sliced bread. Anything taken to the extreme is not a good thing. I praise God that He opened the doors for me to go to seminary, get ordained, pastor 2 churches and for the past 7 years serve in Hospice Chaplaincy. I’ll take an egalitarian society thanks where EVERYONE female and male are treated without favoritism.

    If I were a judge I don’t believe I could give custody to a stripper, because I don’t feel that’s a healthy moral environment for a child to grow up in. If it was determined that she was the better parent, I would do conditional custody that she find a different line of work then assist her in getting the training she needed to do so. Would you be willing to do this if the facts showed the father was not a fit parent or would you just award the father custody to promote patriarchy?

    What you or I would do though doesn’t matter here though. Tim’s the judge, it’s his courtroom, and as he mentioned, we don’t have all the facts of the case, so we can’t make any judgments. Custody hearings are very very complicated, and Tim was gracious enough to share how he was wrestling with the matter afterward in his chambers. I hope you will take him up on his offer. If I was living in CA I sure would. It’s bound to be very eye-opening and educational.

    • Tim says:

      “Both are oppressive” – that sums it up nicely, Carlene.

      And I appreciate your thoughts on not judging those hearings without the facts. When it comes to judging, people can’t go by what they see on TV, they can’t go by what they read in the papers, and they can’t go by what they saw that one time they accompanied a friend to one of their court hearings. If you want to know whether a case came out right you have to be there for the entire case, all the hearings, read all the briefs and see all the exhibits. If after all that you conclude the judge got it right or wrong, at least you’ll have a reason for the opinion. Anything short of that and it’s just speculation. We don’t make rulings based on speculation.


      • John Allman says:

        Tim, if you recall, it was YOU who posed the “what kind of society?” question. What kind of society, you asked, created the dad who didn’t turn up to your court, his being somebody who (you supposed, or knew) felt he could leave his children, thus “forcing” his son or daughter’s mother to earn a living as an “exotic dancer”. Remember?

        I do not think you have quite grasped yet that it has mainly been those with power and privilege that have shaped society, into the “kind” of society you wish that our society had not become. Foremost have been privileged males, in the judiciary, who have presided over our family courts.

        Male judges in the family courts have for decades been laying waste the best efforts of less privileged fathers to be good fathers, real fathers, involved father, providers and patriarchs, rather than mere sperm donors. If you are a judge, sitting in a family court, in judgment over other males whom you regard as your social inferiors, then you are one of an elite group that is largely to blame for the state of society that you are bemoaning. The family court judges are reaping what they themselves have sown.

        The most likely reason for a father not turning up to the final hearing to determine whether his children will enjoy the benefits of joint custody, or be deprived by the court of one of their two parents, is fathers’ complete loss of faith in the family court system. Even if this man had appeared before you, pleaded, and grovelled at your feet, then, if you are typical of your profession, you would have taken his children away from him regardless of his tears, because he was merely their father, not their mother.

        The empowerment of women, in the family, to the point at which women have ALL the power, and men have NONE, is a social trend that family court judges have ruthlessly promoted for the whole of my lifetime. It is not a social trend that poses a serious threat to many of the privileged males who sit in judgment. It is, however, a social trend that has bred despair in the hearts of the millions of men and fathers who have absolutely no privileges at ball. Lower class men know that the family courts are usually biassed against them. That is why so many of them don’t fight for their children.

        As I say, you are reaping what your colleagues in the judiciary, and perhaps you yourself, have sown. Your type created the society we’ve got. You got what you have been working for consistently, for the whole of your career.

        On seeing that one party was absent, why didn’t adjourn, ordering enquiries to be made as to why the missing party wasn’t in court? If the father had attended the court, and the mother had simply not turned up, would you have simply given sole custody to the father? Be honest!

        • Tim says:

          John, you’re assuming I acted without regard for the father’s rights. Not true. We do postpone hearings for absent parties, but when the party fails to appear repeatedly, we eventually go forward. 14th amendment due process is a powerful thing. ________________________________________

    • John Allman says:

      Dear Rev. Carlene Appel

      “what’s wrong with the destruction of patriarchy …?”

      Impishly, I used the noun “patriarchy” once, and redundantly, in one tiny clause of my first comment on this page. I used it as a sort of “litmus test”, to find out what sort of people read this blog. The word patriarchy was chosen as a deliberate trigger-word, intended to trigger a certain class of thinkers, from a subculture that I think is punching above its intellectual weight these days, in my opinion, and due for a comeuppance.

      The word “patriarchy”, I used merely to mean, “fatherhood, exercised by fathers who are not yet completely disempowered”. But the word “patriarchy” I used to express this curely uncontroversial concept was also intentionally reminiscent of the nounal nomenclature of the mythological entity that is prominent in the mythology of the Feminist religion, “The Patriarchy”. Who who had read to much Feminist propaganda might ignore everything I had said, choosing instead to write me saying that “patriarchy” was something evil?

      “I don’t ever want to go back to the times when it was legal for a man to beat and rape his wife, or that I was denied the right to vote or drive.”

      Yup. There’s the rubbish I half-expected, when I pondered whether to use the word “patriarchy” as a joke, or to paraphrase.

      I’ll eat my hat, on camera, and upload the video of me eating my hat, if her reverence can prove that she ever lived as a married woman, in a jurisdiction in which husbands were allowed to beat their wives, or to “rape” them, or in which she did not have suffrage, or in which she was banned from driving, merely because of her gender.

      • Tim says:

        John, your two most recent comments (this one to Carlene and your earlier one to Keri) violate this blog’s comments policy and are out of line.

        Stop it. Now.

  9. Pastor Bob says:

    Interesting real-life story to start (the hook) but the road to the conclusion had some painful bumps. Just the setting for that village brought me to tears. The feeling “hope” was not there for me. having Front-Line experience getting teens out of gangs (they are in strong churches now) and crying with them over the hurts, making court appearances (the tears start again)- who take the “high road” and who “takes the low road” — ??

    Both are covered with holes, obstacles and enemy troops. Makes me think of the verses Paul wrote on perseverance, the stories of soldiers who pressed. The sacrifices before victory is achieved.

    the conclusion was refreshing – but hard to read though to get to.

  10. Pastor Bob says:

    P.S. — One cannot simple “get someone out of _____ ” but the person must want to get out.

  11. Rev. Carlene Appel says:

    Mr. Allman, you don’t have my permission to address me in such a condescending manner. Pity that you feel the need to put others down to raise yourself up. Is this typical of attorneys in the UK too? What a shame. Try attacking issues instead of people for a change. I was part of a clergy discussion group several years ago . I was the most conservative of the conservative members and we had a few extreme liberal members as well. We got along splendidly despite opposing views on some very hot topics because there was a mutual respect for one another. It was refreshing that we could pray, discuss, debate and hug one another at the end in real Christian love.

    It is disingenuous to come into a discussion and use weasel words and tactics as “litmus tests” to make broad brush judgments and disparaging remarks about the participants. If you don’t like any of us that much, find another discussion group. But if you plan to stay speak to me and everyone else here with respect and in a respectful manner. This is an intelligent group of people and our intelligence is in no way diminished if we don’t hold the same opinions as you. I like the ground rules of some of the 12 step groups which states: “The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the one who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest.”

    Yes I do happen to be married—very happily for over 34 years to the most wonderful egalitarian man in the world. I’d marry him a thousand times over. We have 2 grown kids and 3 absolutely adorable grandchildren. (If I knew how much fun grandchildren were, I would’ve had them first! LOL) I don’t have to “prove” anything to you so you’ll just have to eat your hat on YouTube all by yourself. The felt is a great accompaniment to crow. Meanwhile, I hope that you will be able to contribute to our discussions in a non-defensive, thoughtful manner, and focused on the issue at hand.

    • Tim says:

      “I hope that you will be able to contribute to our discussions in a non-defensive, thoughtful manner, and focused on the issue at hand.”

      Precisely, thank you.

    • John Allman says:

      @ Carlene

      What I doubted wasn’t that you had lived as a married woman at all, but that you have lived as a married woman in a legal jurisdiction in which husbands were allowed to beat their wives, or to “rape” them, or in which women did not have suffrage, or in which women were banned from driving, merely because of their gender.

      Tim’s question was “what sort of society” causes men to give up on their children, by not bothering to attend court to fight for shared custody. My answer is the kind of society that the family courts themselves have created, in which men are unlikely to get shared custody of their children if their children’s mothers don’t want them to have shared custody.

      As I said to Tim, the judges are reaping what they themselves have been sowing, for half a century or so.

      I am *answering* Tim’s question for him.

      I have not intended to put anybody down. I apologise for calling you “honey”, when inviting you to continue to police my punctuation, prosecuting missing apostrophes and the like.

      What sort of society do we have, and how did we get there? The following link will enlighten:

      Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives
      by Mallory Millet (sister of Kate Millet)

      The family courts have played their part in procuring Kate Millet’s “revolution”. It ill-behoves a family court judge to complain about the kind of society that his colleagues have created.

      People here might dislike my answer to Tim’s question. But it is the answer that I consider to be the correct answer. The over-empowerment of women and the total disempowerment of lower class men is the main cause of the demoralisation of men who are not high up the social ladder, causing the behaviour that Tim laments.

      • Tim says:

        John, a parent’s subjective desire (e.g. what the mother or father wants) is not the deciding factor under our laws. I have awarded primary custody to fathers despite the mother’s desire to the contrary.

  12. Rev. Carlene Appel says:

    Keri is the one whom you owe an apology to for calling her honey, and she is the one who called you on your grammatical errors. I also noticed grammatical errors in subsequent posts but chose not to mention it because it wasn’t the issue and also not to supply you with more ammunition. Now, let’s dispense with that shall we and move on.

    There are still places in the U.S., typically down South in what they call Bible Belt States, where men do beat their wives and the law looks the other way. Last year at one of my workplaces, Corporate sent up a management professional from Arkansas who arrived with one arm in a sling. Though she told people it was a skiing accident, she confided to me that her husband had thrown her across a room into a wall. And this wasn’t the first incident. She had gone to the police for help, but they blew her off and were very sympathetic to the husband. I gave her a copy of “Battered into Submission: the Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home” by James Alsdurf and Phyllis Alsdurf , hoping she would realize that the Bible does not sanction wife abuse. Back a few years ago when pastoring a church in a rural area of Illinois I assisted a devout Christian woman who had endured almost two decades of the most horrid kind of abuse. Her husband who had been a prominent church leader, was a sexual deviant and subjected her to the most sickening sexual torture. Church and pastors had taught her that she must submit to anything her husband wanted. She honestly didn’t know what he was doing to her was wrong and that she did not have to let him do those things to her. Turns out the guy was also a child molester.

    It’s situations such as these, where there is a gross imbalance of power, that have created the need for the family courts you disdain, perhaps because of personal experience and not:
    “The over-empowerment of women and the total disempowerment of lower class men is the main cause of the demoralisation of men who are not high up the social ladder.” Are we talking sour grapes here?” Blaming women for misery that men may have brought upon themselves because “the chickens came home to roost”??? What happened to you that grieved your heart to the deepest depths so badly that you are such a bitter man, John? I’m certain you wouldn’t answer that here, but it’s one you will have to wrestle with yourself or the bitterness will continue to eat away at you. Why live like that?

    I did read that article. Whew!!!!!!! that’s extremism to the max. Come on John! That’s a very small demographic of women who are that extreme. Heck, even Gloria Steinhem mellowed over the years and got married. If that’s your view, then it appears you are bemoaning that women were allowed to go to college and get an education, then blaming that for all your problems. Seriously!?!? Slave owners in the South did everything to prevent their slaves from learning to read, because they were worried about losing power over them. So paranoid were they, they even made it against the law to teach a slave to read. Hundreds of thousands of women continue to go to college and didn’t and don’t graduate as “Marxists and atheists” as the nuns warned in the paranoid rambling by the author. OMGosh!!! Even the Church Fathers blamed women for everything wrong with the world. Augustine, the former playboy who got religion then viewed sex as evil, called women “The Devil’s Gateway” and went on ranting in derogatory language about how women were to blame for everything wrong in the world, passing the buck like the first Adam did.The lust for power that men have had through the centuries (and blaming women) continues. A lot of griping and complaining occurs when the shoe is on the other foot.

    BTW, the article’s author was wrong about Adam and Eve. Eve didn’t have to convince Adam to partake of the fruit. He did it all on his own. The sin of the Garden was that the humans, both male and female, wanted to become gods unto themselves, independent of God. The second Adam (Christ), came and redeemed us from the brokenness, so that in Him there is no longer Jew nor Greek (race), slave nor free (class) male nor female (gender). In Christ we are all one (Gal. 3:28) and equal. Just as it was in the Garden when the man and woman worked together as co-laborers and weren’t trying to lord themselves over one another before the Fall. Jesus chided his disciples for doing that. But until He comes back and we’re still living in this old sin broken world, people will continue to commit the sin of Eden. Winston Churchill up summed it best, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A very wise man he was indeed.

    What I’ve learned John, is that extremists all sound alike no matter what gender (as evidenced by the article), no matter what party, no matter what position-and I find it rather amusing. What’s amusing is how they are so much like one another. They talk past each other, don’t listen to what the other is saying, lob verbal bombs at each other, all acting like absolute lunatics. So much alike they can’t see it. It has been said what a person doesn’t like about someone else is because it’s something they don’t like about themself. Extremism, in whatever form though, leads to injustices, evil and oppression. It’s never good.

    My goodness, I’ve written a novel here. In the words of the pastor who married my husband and I, “Never ask a preacher to say just a few words,” LOL! Thanks Pastor Glave!

    • Preach it, Pastor Carlene! And apparently John can’t tell us apart.
      John’s argument doesn’t make sense to me. He asked if you lived in a legal jurisdiction where men can beat their wives etc. So that’s situation A.
      He then says that a century ago, women rose up to correct situation A, and we now have situation B, where you have disempowerment of lower-class men. Is he saying we should go back to situation A? He seems to be saying that because judges allowed situation A to be corrected, it’s their fault we now have situation B.
      It’s a false dichotomy. If men were previously “empowered” to beat and rape their wives legally, it is good and right (and Christian) to take that legal power away, or, yes, to “dis-empower” them. But they still have the power to step up and be good fathers. They still have the power to work and better themselves, to treat others with respect. They still have the power to love their wives and children. No one can take that away.

      • Tim says:

        Good point, Keri. Everyone has the power to treat one another better, and if we acted in that power we wouldn’t have these abuse of power issues to deal with any longer.

      • John Allman says:

        What you call my “argument” doesn’t make sense to me either, when I read Carlene’s extraordinary paraphrase of it. Mine was a very simply point. The words that another has put into my mouth, so-to-speak, are not my words at all.

        Carlene wrote, “I don’t ever want to go back to the times when it was legal for a man to beat and rape his wife, or that I was denied the right to vote or drive.” I expressed doubts that Carlene had ever lived in a time when it was lawful for her husband to beat and rape her, or she had been denied the right to vote or to drive. In didn’t see the validity of her argument, based upon that assertion. Even if there had been such a time and place when it was lawful for husbands now long dead to beat and rape their wives, and when the women of those distant days could not vote or drive, I don’t see that as s sound reason for a court to award custody to one parent, of a child who has two living parents who are fighting each other in court over custody of that child.

        I have three very simple points, which ought not to be controversial, but which seem to have aroused .

        1. Family courts award sole custody to one parent, excluding the other parent. They should almost never be doing that. It is just as evil when the courts give father sole custody as when they give mother sole custody. This must stop. It harms children. It flies in the face of treaty obligations under the UN Declaration on the rights of the child Principle 6.

        2. More often, it is fathers who are excluded from their own families in this manner. The state attacks both motherhood and fatherhood, from time to time, but it attacks fatherhood more viciously.

        3. In answer to Tim’s “what kind of society” question, I offer the answer that the kind of society that causes fathers to leave their children, forcing their children’s mothers to work as strippers (as Tim put it), is the kind of society that one inevitably gets, when family courts behave as described in 1 and 2 above. The judges like Tim are merely reaping what they themselves have sown, for all the decades since Kate Millet set out the manifesto of the National Organisation of Women’s anti-family revolution, during which the family court judges have advanced that revolution, and show no sign of relenting from this pathway to a dark future.

        Those are my assertions. I haven’t even begun to “argue” for the truth of those assertions, which would embroil us in statistics. Some of the attempts to argue against my assertions have been tainted by ad hominem content, and straw man arguments.

        Keri, I apologise for using the word “honey” addressed to you, and then mistakenly apologising to Carlene for using that word addressed to her, which I didn’t do.

        • Tim says:

          “Family courts award sole custody to one parent, excluding the other parent.”

          Sole custody with complete exclusion of the other parent is a rare occurrence, and only ordered when the excluded parent is a danger to the child (e.g., abusive). This needs to be proved by evidence in court just like any other serious matter (like convicting someone of a crime).

          “The state attacks both motherhood and fatherhood, from time to time, but it attacks fatherhood more viciously.”

          Not in my training nor in my experience. Then again, everyone I’ve ever ruled against in a family law matter probably thinks the ruling was unfair. That’s a natural response when dealing with issues as personal as one’s family.

          You can say all you like about what you think family courts do where you live, John, but the reality is you have no clue how it works under the law in my jurisdiction.

    • Tim says:

      Well said, Carlene, every word. Thank you for explaining the issues regarding abuse of power so well, and for your wonderful explanation of what happened in Eden and the work of Jesus to save us from sin.

    • PEARL says:

      The white slave masters fathered children on their black slaves and SOLD, the result into brothels! Wow! What a dad! We should all be so lucky. NOT!!
      If a white slave owner has sex with a slave whom he claims/believes is an animal is he guilty of bestiality?
      ( I am not claiming that black people or any other person ever held as a slave was an animal, but to claim that they were subhuman in order to keep them subjugated is horrific.)
      If the slaves in the South were animals what difference would it make if they got hold of a book? An animal cannot read. The slaves could read, if they were taught, because they were HUMAN.
      These people that sold their daughters into the sex trade are blinded by sin. They need the Gospel to set them free from their sins so they can see that all humans were created in the image of God.
      There is no person that should be treated that way, young or old, male or female or any skin color.
      I went to church with a former stripper/exotic dancer. She said that the men in the audience were some of the men who went to our church, some of her Christian father’s “Christian” friends. Hmmmm.
      The other is a granddaughter of a co worker who was lured by a man, a boyfriend and then “pimped out” across state lines. She is underage, old enough to have sex but not old enough to give legal consent She was finally caught by the police, served some time in jail, has 2 children which her grandmother is raising. He went to prison, maybe he will find out what it’s like to be a sex slave.
      She went from driving a Jaguar that she owns to being on foot. No income. She is black.
      Seriously, what kind of job opportunities are out there for her? She wants to work in an office, what’s she going to put down on her resume’ or job application? Who is going to give her a chance so that she can take care of herself and her children?
      I live in a state that if you have a felony you have no chance of getting a job. The employment agencies screen you out.
      If the man with the stripper girlfriend has a felony, how is he going to get a job and support his child? I admit both men and women can get caught in horrible situations. If you have a boyfriend who beats you and you have no children you can potentially get away. However, if a husband is the only bread winner and she sends him to jail for beating her then where does that leave her.? Enduring the abuse so she has some income coming in? At what price?
      Women since the Fall, have been expendable. Got a wife? Want another one? Take another one. Husband dies, no MALE children to take care of you or you have a girl child? Sell her as a concubine or become a prostitute yourself. Get taken in a war? Get raped/married or in Rome be taken into a Patriarchal family where you and your fellow male slaves could both be raped by the family patriarch. What fun times.
      If you were a male Christian and you were being raped by your pagan master, did that make you or him a homosexual or you an effeminate?
      How can you be a Christian and constantly submit to that type of treatment? Didn’t Paul say you were going to hell in Romans 1 for that kind of behavior or will you just have a softer place in hell, not as bad as the rapist, but still hell?
      Is that why we tell women they can’t leave their abusive, and sexually abusive husbands because the rape of a female is preferable to the rape of a male?
      Or was the admonition to the slaves to get their freedom only to the males because we can’t have men being raped just women a la the Levite and his concubine?

  13. John Allman says:

    “But they [men] still have the power to step up and be good fathers. They still have the power to work and better themselves, to treat others with respect. They still have the power to love their wives and children. No one can take that away.” [Keri Wyatt Kent]

    The only part of that statement that is true, is that nobody can take away the power to treat others with respect. All of the other powers you mention, are powers that the state can and does take away from men nowadays, on an epidemic scale. And (if you replace the words “fathers” and “wives” with “mothers” and “husbands”), from women too, albeit less often.

    Taking away those powers that you say “no one” can take away, is a large part of Tim’s job. He began this post by explaining that that was what he had done, at the stripper’s behest. He had taken away all those powers from the father, who had not attended the hearing, of whom he was critical, asking what sort of society had made the father leave his children and force his children’s mother to work as a stripper. I answered that the kind of society was the kind of society that one ended up with, when the state regularly stripped men and women of the very powers that Keri wrongly states that “no one” can “take away”.

    • Tim says:

      “He began this post by explaining that that was what he had done, at the stripper’s behest.”

      John, you are over simplifying a very complicated process that led to that hearing, and the detailed nature of the hearing itself. I’ve told you that above and you continue to ignore it. No one allowed the mother to walk in once, say “I want custody”, and then give it to her based on such a simplistic process.

      The discussion on family court procedure is over John. No more comments on this are warranted.

  14. dpersson7 says:

    This post was really timely for me. Thirty-three years ago when I became a Christian I was abandoned by my first husband. I had no job, no driver’s license, and no high school diploma so I can understand how people end up resorting to what most people would consider an unconventional way to support themselves. I didn’t go that route, I remarried because there was no place in the church for someone like me, a single parent who needed a lot of help. The funny thing about my experience was that Christians were more than happy to offer advice and judge me for remarrying, but no one ever gave me any practical help. I guess the mentality was, you made you bed so now you have to sleep in it. My thought is that the church has to get away from offering salvation to all, but creating an environment that is only welcoming to middle class families. (I know not all churches are like this, but I think that there are many that fit into this category).
    In spite of the adversity, the Lord kept me from falling away, but the road has been very difficult. The good news is that my experience has motivated me to get into a place where I can help people who were like me so that they do have options other than giving up and staying away from church or remarrying. It is actually what I have been working on for the last couple of months. Part of my little contribution is to write about my experiences, try to help were I can in my church, and continue my education so that I will have a skill that is a service to my local community. I am happy to report that I have my license, a job, and am no longer a high school drop out 🙂 I am actually hoping to start graduate school next fall. Not that any of that makes me more acceptable to God, I have other reasons for pursuing a degree, but that is another story.

    • Tim says:

      Your journey through all this sounds painful at times, quite painful, and I am so sorry that fellow believers did not come alongside you as you went through it. You have come a long way by God’s guidance and grace, and I hope your ministry to others continues to grow as God equips you.

  15. Terri says:

    My heart goes out to that mother. I admire her strength and courage in raising her child and doing her financial best to do so. There are plenty of strippers and pole dancers out there, some I’ve met, who are more Christian and moral than some church-goers I’ve known. We human beings tend to attach more moral horror and repugnance to sexually-related sins, while I believe (from what I read in the Bible and from what I see in real life) that God attaches more moral repugnance to sins such as pride and rejecting others that do so much devastating, permanent damage to people’s lives, spirits, and any chance of knowing the real God.

    One thing is for certain: God loves that mother and stands by her in raising her child as best she can. I am sure God has worked and will work in lives like hers to help her find a line of work that still pays enough for her and her child to survive. And God stands by the child’s father, too, wherever he may be, whatever he may be doing. God loves them both deeply.

    Love, God’s style, is a thing we don’t understand very well. It consists less in judging and condemning, and more in coming alongside people. Less like the Pharisees, more like Jesus.

    • Tim says:

      “Love, God’s style, is a thing we don’t understand very well. It consists less in judging and condemning, and more in coming alongside people.”

      That is one of the best descriptions of the love of God I’ve ever read, Terri.

  16. Pingback: Paying the Wrong Price for Women | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  17. Darcie says:

    I was telling my husband the other day that I could understand the desperation that drives many women to this. Growing up in a fundamentalist family, I did not have a good education, have the opportunity to go to college or build marketable skills. I’m trying hard to put a plan together to fix that now, but if my husband died today, I would be struggling to stay out of living in my car. It terrifies me.

  18. Cary Huether says:

    Such a moving essay. My best friend’s mom was a go-go dance and cocktail waitress in the 60s, so maybe this affected me more than it would have otherwise. All respect to those who do the best they can to take care of their kids.

    • Greg Anderson says:

      I’m with you Cary, she (go-go dancer, exotic dancer, stripper, what have you) did what she had to do to make a better life for herself and the kids, and I for one salute her guts and resourcefulness.
      The sex-trade is as old as the hills and is not gonna’ go away anytime soon despite lofty sentiment and a flowery Biblicism.
      I think that decriminalization, ethical sourcing and strict oversight would go a long way in curbing its worst abuses.

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