Violence against women is NOT funny. But for some sick reason, conservative Christians think it’s not only acceptable in our society, they think it’s absolutely hilarious. A Christian youth pastor and his group is now finding out the hard way that most Americans reject this kind of outrageous thinking.
Youth E.D.G.E Indy is a Christian group that operates as part of Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. In a video meant to be shown to 7th graders, youth pastor Nate Utley and members of his group performed what they believed to be a funny demonstration of how to deal with people who break rules. In one shot, Utley beats a woman with a baseball bat until she is lifeless on the floor simply because she disrespected him. In another shot, he beats a girl again because she didn’t throw a pizza box into the trashcan. Though it was apparently meant to be some kind of attempt at “humor,” it’s unbelievable that in today’s society there are people who think beating a woman unconscious is something that makes people laugh. Other acts of violence in the six minute video include cutting off someone’s hand (complete with fake blood) for not returning a borrowed cell phone and hitting kids with tennis balls. Seriously, this happened.
Here’s the video via Youtube:
Violence of any kind is not something to joke about but the violence against women displayed in the video is particularly disturbing. We can’t possibly wipe out domestic violence if we all do not take it seriously, especially if it is presented to kids as something trivial. Unfortunately, conservative Christians have a history of not caring about domestic violence in this country.
In 2012 and 2013, Republicans in the House and Senate repeatedly blocked or refused to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which helps prevent domestic violence and aids victims. And in 2011, Republicans tried to redefine rape in a way that would exclude date rape and statutory rape. Many Republicans have even said multiple stupid things about rape.
Furthermore, the violence portrayed in the video is totally insensitive considering the amount of domestic violence occurring across this country and the rest of the globe. According to stats gathered by DomesticViolenceStatistics.org:
•Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
•Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
•Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
•Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Seeing as how this video was going to be shown to children, it’s even more outrageous. Of course, this youth group belongs to a church led by anti-women pastor Chuck Phelps. This is the same Chuck Phelps who shamed a 15-year-old girl for being raped and impregnated by a church deacon in 1997. Phelps allegedly told the girl that she should’ve been stoned to death and his wife allegedly asked the girl if she enjoyed being raped. The poor girl was then humiliated in front of the congregation. The incident occurred in New Hampshire at the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.
Colonial Hills Baptist Church has since apologized for the video and removed it from their Facebook page, which you can feel free to visit and let them know you feel about them. Or you can contact them here as well. In the apology, which you can read in its entirety here, Colonial Hills staff (not including Phelps, who was apparently out of town and hasn’t viewed the video yet) seem to be really sorry for “thoughtlessly downplaying abuse” although they claim the video was only intended to be a “slap-stick spoof.” You know, because beating the hell out of women until they can’t move anymore is known as “humor” in the conservative Christian community that can be shown to easily impressionable 7th grade kids.
The stupidity and lack of compassion among these people is unfathomable.