A mostly lighthearted look at yet another cult within the Christian fundamentalist ranks. The explanation turns serious at the end:
The key word to understanding Gothard is “Authority.” He has it. Your pastor has it. Your dad has it. You don’t. Sucks to be you. In the Gothard world Authority isn’t given in different spheres but is structured like military ranks. Therefore in an ideal home the dad will have the authority over his children (even if they’re 43), but the dad takes orders from the pastor who can by spirit-led fiat decide what’s best for you and yourn. It’s for your own good. No, really.
One can only imagine the years of deprogramming that it takes to free people from his teaching.
Yeah. I can imagine. I actually still own a chart I made that had God at the top, and then Hymers, and then my local pastor, JK, who had authority over my boyfriend (who hadn’t even joined the church, still smoked weed, and ended up raping me) . . . and me at the very bottom. Because I’m female. See how that works?
JK, whose memory for things other than Scriptures and the law is not good, pressed me a few months ago for the history of my supposed “sexual sin” in Hymers’ church. I outlined what happened, and he understood it briefly (he will probably have forgotten it by now). “You have to remember that, when push came to shove, Hymers didn’t like girls and women,” I reminded him.
“Yeah, well. He wasn’t crazy about Jews, either,” he replied. “Though it only really came out when he was in a rage.”
“I’m sure that was a great comfort to you at the time,” I told him.