Christian Nightmares Too
Silence over the rape of a Christian teen, and disappointment at her loss of virginity
I went to High School at a private religious school in the suburbs of Atlanta. There are so many stories from that school it was really, really hard to pick just one, but this one is one that I think a lot of people from an upper middle class private Christian School will relate to.
Every year we had a class retreat where the whole class (those that could afford it) would go somewhere outdoorsy and spend time bonding and being further indoctrinated. We were supervised by several of the teachers; some of them were assigned to be the “mentors” for each class (Freshmen, Sophomores, etc.). This time we went to a retreat center where we went rafting and swam in the lake, and OF COURSE had morning and evening devotionals with the teachers.
During the last night, we had a bonfire where we sang hymns and prayed and people were encouraged to talk if they “felt lead to,” much like an alter call (you know what I’m talking about). So during the religious fervor that gets whipped up in these situations, a young woman in our class stood up, teary-eyed, and started talking about how a friend of hers who was in our class lost her virginity over the summer. Then she went on to explain that the young woman was raped while on a vacation with friends. Right as she said that, her best friend, who was sitting beside her, got up, started hysterically crying, and walked off from the circle. It was quite obvious that she was the one that the first young woman was talking about. So she outed her friend’s trauma in front of our entire class. And framed it as her “losing her virginity,” which we all knew was the worst thing a young woman in a Christian high school could do. So not only was she raped, but also the brainwashing from the Christian culture had her thinking she was this tainted non-virgin for “letting” that happen. Of course, drinking was involved as well, so the blame was placed entirely on her.
The very worst part of this was that the teachers did NOTHING. They didn’t even tell her parents. It was like they thought they were doing her a favor by not speaking of her transgression to anyone. In fact, when she walked away from the bonfire, only her friend went after her to talk to her. The teachers just kept leading us in hymns and prayer.
At the time, as a teen immersed in Christian culture, I didn’t realize that this was definitely not the appropriate response from a group of adults when a young teenager says she was raped. Now it horrifies me. I wish that I could find that young woman and apologize for not saying anything. Of course, it wasn’t my responsibility at the time, but if you are reading this, I am sorry that you were treated that way and I hope that you have found a way (away from that culture) to heal.
I am so profoundly grateful to not be religious now. My children can grow up free from the unique trauma of fundie Christian culture. – Name withheld by request

Silence over the rape of a Christian teen, and disappointment at her loss of virginity

I went to High School at a private religious school in the suburbs of Atlanta. There are so many stories from that school it was really, really hard to pick just one, but this one is one that I think a lot of people from an upper middle class private Christian School will relate to.

Every year we had a class retreat where the whole class (those that could afford it) would go somewhere outdoorsy and spend time bonding and being further indoctrinated. We were supervised by several of the teachers; some of them were assigned to be the mentors for each class (Freshmen, Sophomores, etc.). This time we went to a retreat center where we went rafting and swam in the lake, and OF COURSE had morning and evening devotionals with the teachers.

During the last night, we had a bonfire where we sang hymns and prayed and people were encouraged to talk if they felt lead to, much like an alter call (you know what Im talking about). So during the religious fervor that gets whipped up in these situations, a young woman in our class stood up, teary-eyed, and started talking about how a friend of hers who was in our class lost her virginity over the summer. Then she went on to explain that the young woman was raped while on a vacation with friends. Right as she said that, her best friend, who was sitting beside her, got up, started hysterically crying, and walked off from the circle. It was quite obvious that she was the one that the first young woman was talking about. So she outed her friends trauma in front of our entire class. And framed it as her losing her virginity, which we all knew was the worst thing a young woman in a Christian high school could do. So not only was she raped, but also the brainwashing from the Christian culture had her thinking she was this tainted non-virgin for “letting” that happen. Of course, drinking was involved as well, so the blame was placed entirely on her.

The very worst part of this was that the teachers did NOTHING. They didnt even tell her parents. It was like they thought they were doing her a favor by not speaking of her transgression to anyone. In fact, when she walked away from the bonfire, only her friend went after her to talk to her. The teachers just kept leading us in hymns and prayer.

At the time, as a teen immersed in Christian culture, I didnt realize that this was definitely not the appropriate response from a group of adults when a young teenager says she was raped. Now it horrifies me. I wish that I could find that young woman and apologize for not saying anything. Of course, it wasnt my responsibility at the time, but if you are reading this, I am sorry that you were treated that way and I hope that you have found a way (away from that culture) to heal.

I am so profoundly grateful to not be religious now. My children can grow up free from the unique trauma of fundie Christian culture. Name withheld by request

  1. headphones-rogue reblogged this from froghatgirl
  2. froghatgirl reblogged this from butcherqueen and added:
    Please know that not all of us Christians act and think that way. Those people at the bonfire were so very wrong to...
  3. maryplak reblogged this from christiannightmarestoo
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  6. butcherqueen reblogged this from christiannightmarestoo and added:
    fucking hate religion. not gonna lie.
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  13. poetessinthepit reblogged this from christiannightmarestoo and added:
    Whoa, everyone should read....important insights here
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  15. neverirreparablybroken721 reblogged this from christiannightmarestoo and added:
    This disgusts me.
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