Go back to your abuser? Patch things up? Stop “embarrassing him” with your story?
The Reconciliation Industrial Complex is in the news this week.
North Carolinian televangelist, Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) was featured in the Washington Post yesterday for his awesome marriage counseling skills. If you’re not familiar with Graham, when he’s not encouraging women to take back wife beaters, grifts from two charities, hates gays, and loves Vladimir Putin. Just what you want in a Christian therapist.
To recap: A few years ago Graham befriended an Iranian Christian minister’s wife, Naghmeh Panahi, whose husband Saeed Abedini was imprisoned in Iran. She was working to free him, Graham raised their profile
profited off them via fundraising.
One snag, Abedini beat the living shit out of her on a regular basis. She kept the secret, but finally realized her faith in Jesus, and being a punching bag for a fuckwit, did not jive. She got therapy. She spoke out in Christian circles about what happened. And she got a protective order.
Franklin Graham encouraged her to take him back. His Jesus is okay with beating women.
The Washington Post reports:
According to the recording, Graham said the marriage could “be fixed easily,” and he seemed to dismiss the severity of her abuse. “I’m not here to defend him calling you bad names, yelling at you, whatever,” he said.
“Beating me,” Panahi interjected.
Graham told her that abuse is a “gray area,” that an abusive husband was someone who “comes home and he takes a six-pack of beer and he jumps off the chair because the kids are making noise and beats his wife and beats the kids and that’s something that goes on almost every day.”
And that was not her situation, Graham told her, because he felt an abusive husband was someone who “stomped” on his wife every night.
“I was beaten,” she replied.
Graham again urged her to speak with Abedini, complaining that they hadn’t met for lunch or dinner. But he dismissed the idea of abuse counselors. “You could get some godless psychiatrist,” he said.
“I’m not saying that Saeed is not guilty of abuse,” Graham wrote to Panahi on Jan. 23, 2016, the week after Abedini’s release. “I am sure he is guilty of much more. The problem is you exposed him publicly to the whole world and embarrassed him. You did this while he was still in prison, a place where he could not defend himself or to speak about these issues.”
He insisted the couple reunite at his retreat center outside Asheville, N.C.
It’s Not What He Did, It’s Your Reaction To It. The RIC’s favorite hymn.
Within a week of the failed reunion, Panahi said, Graham flew Abedini to Boise on a private jet, a trip she learned about only that day when a reporter called her. She rushed to a courthouse and was granted a protection order. When Abedini arrived, she and her mother met him with the couple’s two children, who had not seen their father in three years.
Then she handed over a copy of the order. Abedini left without speaking to her.
Graham told The Post his goal was to “reconcile the differences in their marriage” and that he didn’t pressure her. He called Panahi “a dishonest woman” and “disappointing.”
Beating women? Not disappointing. Talking about it? Disappointing!
Did Abedini change? Did Graham’s thoughts and prayers make the abuser stop abusing?
That May after a protection order had expired, Panahi said, during a visit with the children, Abedini grabbed their 8-year-old son by the neck when the boy didn’t clean up a water spill; Panahi took her son to a hospital, where he was put in a neck brace. A district court judge in Boise granted an emergency protection order and ordered a child-protection investigation, according to a transcript of the couple’s divorce proceedings. The findings of that investigation are not public because it involved a minor.
Abedini didn’t do his therapy homework either. Disappointing?
Nah. Graham asked Panahi if she was cheating on him. Because we can’t do this DARVO shit without asking chumps that question.
No. She wasn’t abusing HIM. She was talking about his abuse, and not taking it anymore.
Rev. Graham, perhaps you need to meditate on that. Go on a long ranch retreat in Asheville and boil your head.