Rev. Charlotte Fairchild, speaker/writer

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Fear Thou Not 501(c)3 director
Murder on the Silver Comet Trail author
Fertile Prayers: Daily Fertile Prayers author

Friday, August 25, 2017

For anyone abused physically or verbally by a family member

Bible Dignity
Christian Myths about Sexual and Domestic Abuse
By Mary Potter Engel, Ph.D.
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
1. Sexual and domestic abuse do not occur in nice Christian families.
Statistics show that sexual and domestic abuses occur as frequently in religious households as in non-religious households.
2. Sexual and domestic abuses occur in “those other” denominations, not in the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, (etc.) faiths.
All Christian denominations are affected by sexual and domestic abuse. To deny this is to try to find yet one more way to avoid the injustice and shift the responsibility.
3. Theology is irrelevant to sexual and domestic abuse.
There are some reports that members of more rigid Christian groups are at higher risk of abuse. While we have no reliable data on this as yet, it is the case that a theology that is more hierarchical and patriarchal than egalitarian is one, among many other factors, that can increase the likelihood of the abuse of women and children.
4. The power of God alone will change the situation.
By “turning it all over to God,” the individual avoids the help that God sends to us through the hands and hearts of other human beings, whether they be social workers, ministers, friends, other family members or counselors. In other words, it is a fallacy to assume that God works WITHOUT any effort on the part of human beings. We are created to be responsible selves, and thus we are human beings. We are created to be responsible selves, and thus we are obligated to use the gifts for healing that God places before us in this life.
5. Accepting Jesus as his or her personal savior will solve the problems of the abuser.
Domestic and sexual abuse are rarely one time events. Often they are patterns of behavior that are very difficult to overcome. A flash conversion experience will not cure a person of deeply ingrained patterns immediately. Therefore, it is necessary to make use of whatever legal, psychological and pastoral aids and service s that are available to assist the perpetrator in his or her recovery toward wholeness.
6. Redemption comes only through suffering.
Personal suffering can be an occasion for our own growth, but it is never the cause of growth. In other words, suffering is not necessarily redemptive. It embitters some persons rather than urging them towards growth. WE can be redeemed in our suffering but we are never redeemed because of our suffering. God does not require any one or any groups of persons to pay a demanding price in order to purchase redemption. God grants wholeness and healing as free gifts of peace.
For women in the church, the revolutionary theology of the cross of Christ, a witness to his active choice to take a stand against the injustice in the world, has been distorted into a reactionary theology of suffering, a justification for the passive and unprotesting acceptance of their own unjust victimization.
7. God teaches us, trains us, through suffering, therefore it is to be accepted as a gift.
The belief that God has a divine plan, purpose or reason for the ills that one must suffer during her or his life may bring comfort ot some victims by giving them a sense of control of their reality. (If they cannot control what happens to them, they can at least control the interpretation of it.) In other words, this theological belief may be part of the survival mechanism of the victim and should be dealt with sensitively and gently. The aim, however, would be to lead victims and survivors to see that there are acts of violence that have systemic roots, (i.e. caused by an unjust system in society) and that impinges upon their individual lives rather than that of others in a random way, (I.e. the acts are irrational and they personally are not singled out for some divine purpose).
8. Suffering is a punishment for past sins.
Many women feel that they are beaten or raped or otherwise abused as a punishment for previous sins (usually previous sexual activity). They need to know that being sexually active is not in itself sinful and therefore requires no punishment. They also need to know that they do not deserve the treatment they are receiving; that they are unwitting and involuntary victims of an explosive system; and that it is the perpetrator, because of his abuse of his force or authority, who carries the full responsibility for his action toward her.
9. Suffering is a divine vocation.
Women will occasionally argue that it is their “mission” or vocation to save their husbands by their example of patient forbearance. While each one of us is given a divine vocation, no one of us is called to save another human being. That is as presumptuous as it is impossible. It is the work of God to save.
10. Suffering presents us with opportunities to show compassion and love in our suffering with the victims of abuse.
According to Mother Theresa, God is present in suffering human beings and we are to take the suffering of others as opportunities to do works of compassion and love. This is an individualistic and passive approach that accepts the whole system of injustice and does not work to change that system or to understand the social causes of the problem of exploitation of women and children. We do not need to accept unjust suffering in order to show compassion and love. In fact, acts of social justice that aim at restructuring the entire patriarchal system so that there will be no more victims can be fine works of compassion and love.
11. Suffering gives victims a “moral edge” or moral superiority.
This is basically a romantic view of suffering that treats victims of abuse as one-dimensional creatures, as victims alone, rather than seeing them as the incredibility strong and resilient survivors that they often are. Our own need to romanticize suffering can blind us to the great strength and dignity that are present in the lives of survivors as well as to the full horror of the harm that has been done to them.
12. The suffering of women and children is random.
In his popular book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Kushner presents suffering as a random event. While I think this view is helpful to counter the suffering as punishment and to help us understand the suffering we experience with terminal diseases and other “natural” physical ills, I do not think it is helpful for the victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The suffering in our society of women, children, and elders, like that of Jews, lesbians, gays and people of color is rnot totally random. Rather, it is a necessary consequence of a sexist and exploitative patriarchal system that dehumanizes women, trains them to be willing victims, and blames them when they cry for help.
13. The suffering of individual women is a result of choices they have made.
While the suffering of women as a group is not random, the suffering of a particular woman is. What this means is that there may be no final explanation for why a certain abuse happened to this woman, and not to her sister or friend. In other words, we must be extremely careful not to blame for the suffering that she experiences individually because of the exploitative system that exists in our society.
Reprinted with permission from Marry Potter Engel, Ph.D. in Creating Peace: Encourage to Change (Family Peacemaking Materials for Clergy, Lay Leaders, Staff & Laity)
Anoka County Faith Community Peace Initiative 2000, Anoka County , Minnesota .

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Safety in church

In church you think you are safe and everyone will love you. They don't. Many times women will stab you in the back.  One of the reasons I started this quest before reading a Post Traumatic Church Syndrome is the pain from so many sexist people. I went to Dallas Theater Saturday with my husband who volunteers every Sunday for hours at his church.  Stephanie told me not to play my autoharp in the performance of GOSPEL MUSIC like she was afraid. 

I tell children that David killed Goliath, played harp for a king and became a king. A harp is not for wimps.  So this is a letter I wrote to a church. I did not send the letter to the church. I just asked for a refund. The people in this church do not care if they hurt anyone. Will we get the $40 back?

Hi Steve,
  Can you give us a refund? We did not pay $40 to be insulted. My nonprofit is a 501(c)3 and I have been to 80+ churches telling people as a speaker and a visitor about the harp in the Bible without being insulted. Only three churches have insulted me, and two were Methodist.  You may remember that the harp is mentioned over 40 times praising God in the Bible. Do you know what 40 means in the Bible?  Autoharp Angels was started because I asked an international group to make one CD and they made 4. They make so much money that they give donated autoharps to people who cannot afford them because of God working through me to ask for Christmas music.When God works, he can use an ass, and he can use me. and

The women in your church were heartless after both of my parents died. I invited them to my house and none of them would come. Why does Bob do so much for your church for free? Not for the Christian friendship. 

I have a BA, MDiv, 6 units of CPE, and I served as the chaplain on 9/11/2001 at Emory Parkway Medical Center before it was torn down because it is 5 seconds from jets at Charlie Brown Airfield. I was an organizer, moderator and speaker at the Global Health and Humanitarian Summit at Emory for 4 years. 

I have 60 references similar to the one attached. Cecil Threadgill fought on Iow Jima, and prayed for the Apollo 14. I don't look like much, but as a writer I can tell the truth. The truth is that people in your church are ugly inside. I want a refund for the tickets to the Dallas Theater concert. It is a shame the United Methodist women are so cold to other women. It is as though they are not like Christ. In Flipper Temple United Methodist Church there is the sign of justice. It is an AME church that has welcomed me and my autoharp. There is going to be a movement to praise God with autoharps.  Stephanie was afraid I might praise God with an autoharp with no mic? I am a coloratura who sings in 8 languages. Which is louder? A voice that can sing opera or a stringed instrument with no mic? What was she thinking?

Use more women in your services to preach Steve. My husband tells me you only ask a man who preaches the same sermon over and over again when you are not there. He has had a stroke and it is not fair to him or all the women
in the church who have taken courses to be lay speakers. I am not a lay speaker. I am a prophet. I wrote Murder on the Silver Comet Trail 2 years before it happened. I have a Master's of Divinity, and you do not. I have full ordination as a minister of the gospel with a Master's of Divinity, and you do not. Most of the local pastors think I should be a local pastor, and I cannot just like you cannot be an elder without a Master of Divinity. 

Rev. Charlotte
​ Fairchild, BA, MDiv, CPE 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Last night I talked to a couple for 30 minutes after a movie

   We were under lights, and I told the girl friend about and I will be alive for years and the same group will never tell anyone about Murder on the Silver Comet Trail, free on Kindle Unlimited.