Sunday, April 24, 2011

Questions & bullying

This grew out of my feelings; if it offends some I am truly sorry:

What does bullying look like in the adult world of intolerance. Is it okay, as an adult, to complain against bullying that touches one personally? What if it is so bad one feels creepy and sick to her stomach? What if it is meant to shut one down, to keep one from writing truthful words?

What if the person doing the bullying is a Presbyterian writing comments on a Presbyterian Pastor’s blog, a pastor who agrees with and allows the bullying?

What would most conservative, progressive, moderate, Christians think about these words[1]

“Sometimes reading her [me] blog is like watching a Desmond Morris documentary.

This most recent post is an excellent example.

First she writes yet another blog post proclaiming her undying love for you. [John Shuck](What is this? Post 100? Post 1000?)

Then all her other boyfriends swarm around primping and preening to try to get noticed by her.

It's like a creep-tacular middle school dance, attended by senior citizens.”

First, two things, the above by Alan was written because I wrote this, Confessing what!? and yes the above quote is horribly embarrassing and should be hid in the darkness of everlasting hell as far as I am concerned. Nothing about it is true. But I don’t think I have to say that. So more questions so that you will know why I went to the embarrassment of placing it here.

Continuing questions: What if the person who wrote the insults is gay, and his partner is the author of a floor speech posted at the More Light page, “Yes on amendment 10-A?”

The floor speech for amendment 10-A posted there is entitled, “What Will Amendment 10-A Mean If Passed?. The speech sounds reasonable; it is just about equality. It is simply telling people that everything will be okay-don’t worry.

But is something deeper happening than just a push for equality? After all my blog posting that caused such vileness was not about homosexuality but about a pastor confessing his faith that there is no God. No other issue seems to matter; if LGBT ordination and same gender marriage is pushed by someone, pastor, elder, no matter their theology, their atheism, their morality or even their attitude towards others, they are allowed all vulgarities and freedom in the denomination. This is an evil situation. Once the door is wide open it will get worse.

The Scripture state that our “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

The denomination is in dire danger at this moment; the battle is spiritual-the weapons are the word of God, prayer and faith. Jesus Christ has already won the victory, but the walk is hard. As Aslan (the Lion who images Christ) tells Lucy as the Dawn Treader makes a final attempt to leave the Dark Island of nightmares, “Courage dear heart[s]”

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Stushie said...

They kind of remind me of Psalm 73 - 'they wear aggression like a necklace around their necks.'

Verbal crucifixion is all that they seem to be interested in. Once the amendment is passed, they'll come after conservatives and try to push us out of the church. They'll soon discover two things Viola - they're pushing against the cornerstone and that the grass roots of people in the pews are largely conservative. Like the Death of God pushers in the 60s, or the Soviet Communists of the 1920s, they'll eventually die out.

Greg Scandlen said...

Jesus foresaw all of this --

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 25: 9-13)

I am grateful for your true witness and am glad to stand with you.

John Shuck and his buddies are nothing but left-wing wackos and adolescents. He is a 9/11 truther, for Pete's sake! Other than poisoning a once-faithful denomination, they don't matter.

David Bower said...

As a victim of physical and emotional abuse in high school, abuse that left emotional and spiritual scars, I'm offended that you equate comments in the ongoing ordination debates with bullying. I've been bullied. What you're experiencing doesn't come close.

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Presbyman said...


As one of your "boyfriends" (but not yet a senior citizen), I decided the best way to respond to the nonsense you describe is not to take those bloody fools seriously. I don't mention them on my blog, for example. That is what I would suggest.

Bless you,

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Dave Moody said...

Ps. 37...
God's grace to you!

Viola Larson said...

If you have been bullyed I am very sorry. I have many children and grandchildren and I understand bullying. You can read about that here:

Viola Larson said...

Stushie, I hope you are right about this being like the death of God pushers and the Soviet Communist-but for here in this time and place I am not so sure. I am sure that the Church of Jesus Christ will continue- God has promised that.

And yes, I believe they will come after the conservatives and try to push them out of the church. Of course some won't but as long as they allow atheist pastors, insults etc, for the most part they will not tolerate anyone disagreeing with them.

Viola Larson said...

John E.
Please don't even jest. And yes ignoring them would help, except they are so entranced in the progressive side of the church as someone to listen to that they are influencing too many people.

Viola Larson said...

Greg-poisoning a once faithful denomination does matter-but it matters to God more than it matters to any of us. Thanks for your stand.

Dave thanks for reminding me of Ps. 37-one of my favorites. It helps completely.

Presbyman said...

Sorry, Viola. I understand this is upsetting to you and I did not mean to disregard your feelings.

I like to respond in a tongue in cheek way to the bathroom wall quality writings over at Shuck and Jive. Luther said something about scorning and mocking the devil when quoting Scripture doesn't work.

Bless you,

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

David Bower said...

Viola: Thank you for your kindness. I in no way intended to discount what you're experiencing. Being attacked is never pleasent. I often disagree with what you write, but I still respect you and your writings. After all, I do keep reading them.

Anonymous said...

What concerns me the most is that evangelism is now being equated with "spiritual violence".

The left loves to play its word games: find a contemptuous term and stamp it on the forehead of anyone who they oppose. (Having an orthodox view of marriage makes me a sexist, patriarchal, misogynist homophobe.) And eventually the left, having abandoned the Word, comes to believe its own words.

Which makes the "spiritual violence" tag dangerous, for opposing violence is a duty and violence must sometimes be opposed with violence--for loves sake.

I suspect that when violence--real violence--comes upon the faithful it will come from those of the tolerance brigade and will be carried out in Jesus' name. Someone's got to make the world safe for tolerance, after all.

Bruce Byrne
Concord, Ca

Jitegemea said...

Sorry, Viola,, but the reality is that bullying, and hate are at the heart of John Shuck's dizzying array of calculated misinformation. I simply can't read his blog anymore without coming away feeling sickened by the hate, disrespect, and ignorance...

will spotts said...

David - I agree with Viola - I'm certain she did not mean to minimize your experience. It's more that there is not a good word for what is happening to her. "Bullying" seems appropriate because that s the mechanism and psychology involved. The difference seems to be more a matter of scale - than a matter of the nature of the activity.

I would point out that this - and numerous other similar actions - have not involved Viola's views on ordination standards. Instead they often relate to more general theological concerns.

will spotts said...

The reasons I characterize the behaviors in this way (as at least strongly similar to bullying):

1. They seem far less motivated by disagreement than by palpable hatred.

2. They do not offer arguments or ideas. They inhabit the level of “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.”

3. They are unequal. In one case disagreement is offered – often strong disagreement about proclamation and behavior. In the other, personal targets designed to be offensive and hurtful are the chief focus.

4. Their function is twofold – to shut down opinions the parties don’t like and to hold up their target (in this case Viola) to be despised.

5. It works. It is something about the psychology or sociology of bullying: much as we as humans like to think we side with the victim, in bullying situations people generally side with the bully. This is well-documented in schools – even faculty have a pronounced tendency to side with the bully.

Whatever the actor’s motivations – it works like this: the target begins to see himself or herself as somehow deserving of vile treatment. It is some factor (usually arbitrary – race, gender, appearance, whether or not a person is good in sports, whether they wear the right clothes, background … whatever) – some flaw in the target that makes them deserve it. Not only does the victim see himself like that – usually so does the audience. There is a bandwagon effect.

And this hateful dynamic is what the people targeting Viola are counting on.

Ironically the people involved are people who have postured themselves as those who stand up for victims. But the only causes they champion are causes célèbres – giving a marked appearance of bandwagonism. They do not object in the slightest – or abstain or speak out – against the practice and processes of victimization … where the target is someone they already despise. In their ethos one thing is clear: some victims are more equal than others.

Will Spotts
North East, MD

Anonymous said...


You have been subjected to sexual harassment on Shuck and Jive, and it has been done with the approval and participation of John Shuck. It is entirely inappropriate, unethical, and disgusting.

The PCUSA has a Code of Ethics (found here:, and what Shuck and his friends have done to you breaks several ethical rules.

Further, the PCUSA has a Sexual Misconduct Policy (see here:, and what was done to you in particular is defined as:

1) Sexual abuse: "sexual conduct in relation to ... any person when the conduct includes ... intimidation, or misuse of office or position.”

2) Sexual harassment: "verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature" including "unwelcome sexual jokes ... that insult, degrade, and/or sexually exploit men, women, or children."

3) Sexual conduct: "such as offensive, obsessive or suggestive language ... that is injurious to the physical or emotional health of another."

4) Sexual Malfeasance: "defined by the broken trust resulting from sexual activities within a professional ministerial relationship that results in misuse of office or position arising from the professional ministerial relationship."

5) Misuse of technology: "Use of technology that results in sexually harassing or abusing
another person, including texting or emailing suggestive messages and images to persons with whom one has a ministerial relationship."

Every one of these, Shuck and his associates have done in their coarse jesting about you on Shuck's blog.

Do not be apologetic about feeling sexually victimized by these people! Abusers want YOU to feel bad, when it is they who are the abusers. Do not allow them this power over you. You are innocent!

You have every right to charge John Shuck with sexual misonduct, if you feel so inclined. What he has done is unethical, unkind, and sinful. He is guilty as charged!

Jim Berkley
Seattle, WA

Viola Larson said...

I am praying about that and thank you for the suggestion.

Viola Larson said...

Will I wonder why that is that people would side with those who bully, I don't understand that although I have seen it happen.

Viola Larson said...

I agree, and I have watched the fall evolve downward.

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear Viola,
Please take heart in knowing that evil would not be attacking you if you were not preaching the true Word of God. Put on the full armour of Christ knowing that the prince of this world has no power over you. God is with you in your ministry: "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you (my faithful servant) be watchful in all things, enduring afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5

God loves you and so do I,

S. Sealy
Shelby, NC

Robert said...

What I find tragic in the PCUSA is that no one is willing to admit that someone who agrees with them is acting badly. We need to distance ourselves from those we agree with on some issues that bully and ask the other side to do so as well.

Viola Larson said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I am getting so many wonderful scripture verses from everybody.

Yes, Robert I would agree with you on that.