29 Nov 2012

The Author

Having overcome an abusive childhood, Daisy Rain Martin now lives a peaceful life with her husband, Sean-Martin and son, Geoff, writing in the Northwest. The juxtaposition that is Daisy Rain stems from being raised in a show business family in the bright lights of Las Vegas and simultaneously attempting to navigate her way out of an abusive, ultra-conservative religious home. She answers the question so many ask: If I were to get in touch with my spiritual side and embark on a path with God, would I have to be like all those… church people? Her wish is that her writing will help others who are facing similar trials in life to find hope and know that they are not alone. Her comedic, spiritual memoir, "Juxtaposed: Finding Sanctuary on the Outside" was recently published and is doing well. Daisy is also a teacher, prolific blogger, motivational speaker and advocate for victims of domestic violence and abuse.

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Let’s Have a Talk… Will Somebody Hold My Sword for a Second?

As I look out into the faces of the people in the congregation I’m speaking to on any particular Sunday, I think to myself once again, It would be so much easier to get up here behind this pulpit and talk about the joy of pap smears. Or snot. Or farting in public.

The message I’ve been given to share, however, doesn’t involve topics as cozy and comfortable as these. I talk to churches and other organizations about proactively protecting children from sexual abuse. I say words like pedophiles and predators and prey. I throw out percentages and numbers, and I watch the faces of the people turn dark as data materializes into reality. Relentlessly, I drop on them the statistical impossibility that everyone underneath this steeple is somehow immune from this horror. Instead, I make it painfully clear that there are people at this very moment, in this very room who have been molested—that there are people at this very moment, in this very room who are currently being molested. The level of discomfort is evident on every grim face. They know what I’m going to say next: that they are statistically very likely to be sharing the pews with someone who has identified and chosen children who typify the desired profile; that they have then groomed those children over time, built a trust with their parents (unless, of course, children are being molested by their parents) and molested them just as soon as they arrived at a comfortable level of certainty that their victims wouldn’t tell. I warn them that their children could even now be somewhere along that dreadful continuum. The numbers don’t lie.

I’m there to make sure they know that pedophiles sure do.

If I were in the audience listening to someone like me, I think I’d be looking around, making a mental note of every person who has had any sort of contact with my child, staring them down looking for the slightest trace of betrayal. I think I’d be freaked out enough to have my boy skip a few weeks of Royal Rangers or have my daughter sit with me in the main service instead of taking her to Children’s Church. If I were a Sunday school teacher or a nursery worker, conversations like this would make me want to stand up and announce, “Hey, everybody! I’m not a perv! Just want to make that clear—thought it was worth mentioning!”

I create chaos, is what I do, and allow people to wallow in a bit of despondency for a time which, if you think about it, seems a little contrary to the pastor who is trying to bring the congregation together in unity, after all, and provide a place where people can come once a week to refresh and recharge. And then some chick has the gall to come along, grab the microphone and start shattering paradigms—not to mention brazenly encouraging those who are suffering in silence to speak up, even if their molester is sitting in the pew beside him or her. Even if their molester is on staff or a deacon or leads the choir. I empower children to speak out against their parents, wives against their husbands, and neighbors against neighbors. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household, right?

So believe me, it’s not like I’m booked out for months in advance to speak in different churches every Sunday. After I leave, it’s entirely possible, probable even, that victims will emerge and people—perhaps very visible people who have been trusted—will be discovered, arrested and charged with very serious crimes. Reputations ruined. Drama. Rumors hot off the prayer chain. It’s interesting to see who claims in the wake of one of my visits that God is “…leading us in a new direction” (as in… not jail) and suddenly parts ways.

It would be easier to talk about farting. Or how the Mormons are all deceived. How secular music is poisoning the minds of our young people, or politics and patriotism and all the Godly candidates. You know, issues good Christian folk can really come together on.

But I come with a sword and bring division; I do not come in peace. I don’t apologize, and I don’t mince words. Christ is coming again, I like to point out, and He’s not coming back as a little baby in a lowly manger this time. He’s coming back on a white horse (which may or may not be a metaphor for a Harley—I’m still pondering that) and He will make right all that is wrong on this planet. Evil will scatter the day that lightning splits the sky, but it will be rooted out of every dismal crevice and corner. No mountain stands too high, no ocean too deep, no distance so far, no location so obscure that the Commander of the Lord’s Army cannot snatch those who oppress the small and the weak right out.

I’m occasionally admonished, “Well, Daisy, that doesn’t seem very gracious. Don’t you believe that Christ can forgive even the most heinous sins?”

In fact, I do. Let Christ do His work in the darkest hearts of those so enmeshed in deceit and manipulation and horror around which the rest of us can’t even wrap our heads. The Church should certainly make sure they have all the cigarettes and socks they’ll ever need or want for the duration of their time in prison.

“So, pedophiles and those who harbor and protect you, be afraid,” I warn ignoring the pallor of pastors’ faces as I slice and dice his congregation, “Christ isn’t just coming for His own—He’s also coming for you. Those who live under tyranny, abuse and oppression, take heart, for the day of your deliverance is coming. And Church, the laborers are tragically few—so refresh and recharge, if you will, but remember that the body of Christ is a living, breathing entity whose purpose it is to bring hope and healing to a broken world. Bind up those bruised and broken reeds, rescue those in peril and set free those in captivity.”

In other words, grab a sword, people.

Just be careful where you point it because there’s a lot of sword pointing out there in the name of Christ. To be clear, it wasn’t an atheist or a liberal or a homosexual or some other supposed enemy of the church that molested me every day of my childhood. It was the man who sang in the choir every Sunday and sat with my mother and me right there on the pews with his Bible open and his hands lifted in praise toward Heaven, fooling everybody and wreaking havoc on an entire generation—precisely where he remains to this day.

One sobering statistic: Serial pedophiles, the ones who molest children over an entire lifetime can abuse upwards of 400 children. We all would agree that even one is too many. We are called to be lights in this world, and I know we are all willing to be those lights. But we are so reluctant to believe that someone in our family, or one of our friends or neighbors, or someone sharing the pew with us in the house of God could bring that depravity into our inner sanctum. As a result, children suffer mutely and families show up twice on Sundays and Wednesday nights pretending they aren’t splintered into shards, deluding everyone.

My message is twofold: First, be careful and be vigilant, Church. These individuals have no difficultly slipping into churches where a patriarchal pecking order is the generally accepted structure and is not to be questioned or challenged; where even their most egregious sins are cast as far as the east is from the west in just one 30-second prayer; and Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and nursery workers are always in short supply. Has your place of worship put the adults on notice? Does your church ever sit down and have a conversation with kids about this? Do you assure them that you love them and will do everything within your power to keep them safe always? Have you taught them how to advocate for themselves and how to report to you if they are ever in a compromising situation? Do you have a plan of action when (not if) that occurs? If your church provides true sanctuary… it will happen. The statistics can promise you that.

Second, Christ heals. He restores. I am living proof. The nightmare can end, but we, as the body of Christ, need to open our eyes and acknowledge this epidemic of abuse for what it is. I’m not merely talking about tirelessly pontificating against every worldly ill (real or perceived) from the safety of our own bandwagons. I’m talking about stepping outside our peripheries of comfort and finding the courage to battle real evil in what could potentially become an all-out melee with casualties. I’m looking for contenders. I’m looking for redeemers. I’m looking for healers.

Let’s do this.

 

31 Comments
31 Comments
  1. It is a legal requirement for churches in the UK to have written policies on how they will deal with allegations of abuse, to have designated people to whom children can speak ‘in confidence’ and an alternate reporting route if one of the advocates is the person against whom an allegation is made. It is a recognised fact that paedophiles will go to any place where there is the potential to gain access to children, this includes church. Press on, sister, with your valuable work and may God continue to bless and heal you.

    • Thank you so much for writing, Sarah B! It sounds like the UK has figured some things out! The rest of us should follow suit!

      Big love to you!
      Daisy Rain

  2. Thank you Daisy Martin for bringing this subject into the light instead of hiding away in the darkness. I know how painful it must be for you to speak of this after all those years of abuse. I admire your passion and zeal for protecting children.

    • Miss Michelle, it’s actually liberating to speak of this after all I’ve been through. Very validating, in fact. And I’ve spoken at churches that are very receptive to this message. I think people want to do everything they can–they’re just not sure WHAT to do in situations like this. It’s definitely something we have to talk about and continue to talk about.

      Big love,
      Daisy Rain

  3. Well said and an important message for everyone. So much long term damage can be done by trusted family and adults. May the right people hear your message.

    • Thank you, sir. I get emails and messages through my website all the time from people who are trying to find all the pieces of themselves and put them all back together from the long term damage you’re talking about. We need to be as proactive as we can in protecting our children. You cannot sweep this subject under the rug.

      Love,
      Daisy Rain

  4. Daisy, thank you for calling us to justice. The Judge of the whole earth rises to show us compassion. May we all join you in taking up a sword and showing our gratitude and imitating God’s justice: feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the poor, breaking chains, and giving voice to the voiceless.

    • Miss Donna, I’m all about feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, clothing the poor, breaking the chains, and helping give a voice to those who have none. And i know you are too. Thank you for walking with me on this journey.

      Love you big!
      Daisy Rain

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Terri, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome! It sounds as if you have been preaching the same thing… So, thank you, thank you, thank YOU! :)

      Love,
      Daisy Rain

  6. so incredibly powerful your voice is!!! every word true! i am forwarding this to our church’s youth pastor and following up with some questions of my own. thank you for being a catalyst of change and healing in the church.

    • Miss Holly, thank you for the forward and for being willing to carry this conversation on to your place of worship! It’s important! Thank YOU for being a catalyst of change and healing! Let me know what I can do for you!

      Love you!
      Daisy Rain

  7. ” Let Christ do His work in the darkest hearts of those so enmeshed in deceit and manipulation and horror around which the rest of us can’t even wrap our heads. The Church should certainly make sure they have all the cigarettes and socks they’ll ever need or want for the duration of their time in prison.”

    AMEN TO THAT! Forgiveness does NOT mean that they can break the law and get away with it.

    I will be passing on this article and, if he wants to read it, your book to my pastor. I would love to have you speak to our congregation…and we have the best safeguards in place for our kids, but these charlatans manage to get past those anyway. If I had my way, they would all be sent to the desert where it is a 2-week walk in any direction and just do bread and water drops by helicopter once a month.

    • Miss Teresa, I would be thrilled to speak to your congregation any time! Just let me know what I can do for you. Certainly the sociopathic mind of pedophiles is something that few of us will ever understand. Thank you for your love for kids and your commitment for keeping the safe!

      Big love,
      Daisy Rain

  8. Well Daisy, you’ve done it again…used those words to shock and awake the body. I’m posting this to my FB page as a great reminder to us all that Jesus had millstones and deep lakes in mind for those who took advantage of the powerless. It frankly makes me shudder and examine myself to make sure I haven’t looked the other way with “good church folk” in the past. Lord help us and thanks Daisy.
    Jim

    • Jim, I shudder with you. I think the scariest verse in the Bible is that the laborers are few. What disheartens me the most when I see potential laborers chasing every wind that blows instead of resisting this kind of evil–majoring on the minors, if you will. I want to stand up and challenge people, “I hope you are as fierce in taking a stand against pedophiles as you are against ________, ________ or ________,” Fill in those blanks any which way you want. There is so much ridiculous rhetoric surrounding all that supposedly threatens to break down the American family. Psh… here’s a BIG ONE! If people are really, truly dedicated to keeping families strong like they claim they are, then they would be extremely vocal and active in eradicating child abuse, drug abuse, and poverty as well as being strong advocates for education. Period.

      And that’s all I have to say about that. :)

      See you Sunday, Pastor.
      Daisy Rain

  9. So glad your voice is there offering hope. You already know that you are one of my heros. Lots of Love, Cat

  10. Daisy, your words shock and shatter the beliefs and denials of so many. They awaken the spirit to spring forward to DO something rather than merely talk about abuse. Your words sweep the rotten particles of life from under the rug and make them visible so more people are willing to creep out from behind the closed doors and from hiding under blankets holding secrets within themselves to finally see the light and know that there is help and retribution for the perpetrators that have violated the inner core of their lives. I pray that this begins a revolution against molestation and abuse of any kind and no matter where it occurs. And I pray that those in leadership capacities will actively LISTEN to those who have the courage to speak out and help lead them to find their inner self-worth. Thanks for all you do! You are amazing!

    • Well, Jan, it’s official. You will have to start writing for Provoketive too. Thank you so much for your work as a CASA and all you’ve done in education to bring children to love and safety.

  11. Thank you Daisy, for being faithful to share your message, for your passion, and for your love for children. Your words have power, and you are making a difference for many people. God bless you!

    • Miss Sarah, you are sweet. Thank you. I know you are loving kids and providing safety too. It takes all of us. Keep it up and keep in touch!

  12. Daisy you so eloquently and passionately call the church to awake from its slumber. Far too often we keep our heads in the sand about the serious issues while lifting up such trivial and petty matters. Time and time again I have listened to stories of the lives of children and youth who have been imprinted with memories that time doesn’t erase. I am thankful as a Minister that there are advocates such as you who are called to break down our resistance to admitting that this too happens in our buildings and families and children’s lives. Fight on!

    • Miss Jeannette, you are a treasure. It is, indeed, heartbreaking to watch people get their panties in a wad over issues and politics and social this-and-that while seemingly oblivious to the #1 threat to families in our culture. (Well, that and drugs. The two coincide often.) I think it’s just easier to chase down issues that folks can mentally manage… I don’t know. All I know is, I’m not waiting around anymore.

  13. Always driving it home Miss Daisy. You are one of God’s wonders! Love who you are and what you do.

  14. I love you too, Miss Alice! Thanks for walking this journey with me, sister!

  15. Incredibly powerful and well written work, Daisy. It’s a blessing to be in solidarity with you. Thank you for your work!

    • I’m glad we met, e-friend! Our work will inevitably overlap. Hurry up and graduate. :) I’m not getting any younger!

      Talk soon,
      Daisy Rain

  16. Daisy, thank you for your God given boldness to step up and speak out. Thank you for your mission to save, release, rescue and bring children and youth out of abusive molesting situations. Thank you for pulling BACK the rugs in churches to expose the DIRT and crap that’s been swept under them over the years. We have to do more than just “pray a hedge of protection” over the children and young people in our classrooms on Subdays and any other time ot our church outtings. We MUST be the people they can come to, the people that watch out not only for their souls but their lives and their safety….their bodies.
    God help me to take out my sword in a stronger way than ever before. God help me protect our kids. And Daisy God bless you as you step out as you’re doing and spread the words and knowledge you’re spreading.

    • I just want to be swept up in the momentum of what God is doing. This is a huge undertaking, but I’m getting a sense that many people are ready to take up this cause. Often, people don’t know what to do. They need answers. I want to work to provide the direction they need. You are a vessel of hope, a vessel of healing.

      Love you,
      Daisy Rain

  17. Great stuff! Why am I only now reading this? I think a strong stand is very appropriate, especially since most denominations have taken such a weak approach to the issue.

    When it gets down to it, protecting our children is not just a spiritual issue, its a legal issue as well. The church has been weak on this and some denominations are just now seeing this.

    You are welcome to guest blog at my site anytime, Daisy!

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