Just because you’re okay doesn’t mean the abuse was!

"Legitimizing Abuse" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Legitimizing Abuse” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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“You turned out okay, so I guess it wasn’t all bad!” Have you heard this? From leaders you trusted? From leaders who abused you?

Naomi Klein’s important work, Shock Doctrine, suggests that governments will initiate man-made disasters to destabilize a country in order to introduce controversial policies while its citizens are too overwhelmed to resist. That is, it will inflict suffering to achieve its goals that are believed to be good.

I call it rewriting history or judgment reversal. I become a stronger person because of my suffering, therefore that makes the suffering okay and for some even legitimizes it!

Churches can be excellent practitioners of this. Its members are more obedient, more faithful, more generous,  and so on, when they are shamed, terrified, or coerced into conforming to its expectations. If these measures get us the desired results, why change?

The end always justifies the means.

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4 Responses

  1. Jordan says:

    I get plenty of Rafiki vibes here, but I’m not sure why

  2. Lila says:

    There’s a whole movement with a motto somewhat like this: “Stronger at the Broken Places.” I keep thinking about the saying, “What doesn’t kill you outright makes you stronger.” Don’t know who said it first, but it’s part of a Piet Hein Grook–the Maxim for Vikings!

    A MAXIM FOR VIKINGS
    Here is a fact that should help you fight a bit longer:
    Things that don’t actually kill you outright make you stronger

  3. Lila says:

    BTW, Naomi Klein may appreciate her name spelled correctly!

  4. Thanks for that Lila. Corrected. Yes… the Viking maxim though… what happens is that controlling people and abusers take that to mean that they can inflict such suffering in order to make people stronger.

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