The case note reveals gender-based domestic violence instigated by religious beliefs. Domestic violence is perpetrated under the guise of insubordination, when the woman does not obey the husband. This notion of authority derived from sacred scriptures gives husbands explicit powers to control their wives as it requires their unreserved submission in all aspects of life. The second ethical issue is religious affiliation in terms of conservativism versus liberal beliefs. The liberal ideas abhor spiritual manipulation that seeks to serve one party’s interest at others’ expense.
Gender-Based Domestic Violence
Gender-based violence mainly affects girls and women through specific forms of violence, such as physical punishment, sexual, emotional, and psychological violence. The vice is deeply rooted in gender inequality as the perpetrators are mostly men and victim’s women. Domestic violence based on religious acts is a silent epidemic as victims rarely call out their abusers. Most of the same faith as the man, the victims cite stigmatization, thus endure the abuse and stay in such unions. The church leadership persistently preaches submission as they believe in the infallibility of the sacred bible; thus, the blame is often placed on the women.
Research has shown that many perpetrators quote the scriptures where the man, as the head of the home, is accorded supreme authority and has the final say on all matters (Perales and Bouma, 2019). The religious doctrines are promoted as being ordained by a supreme being, thus are permanently binding principles. Gender inequality is shown in male privilege and entitlement’s assertiveness by selecting religious texts that seek to harm women. The primary concern is that the woman is not acting as per the bible; thus, punishment manifests through violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic violence (NCADV), 10 million people are physically abused by their partners, where one in four incidents involve women. Physical and sexual abuse is the most prevalent form of atrocities and occurs through beatings and rape. Data shows that intimate partners perpetrated 45% of female rape scenarios, but most were not reported due to shame and fear of the congregation.
Conservatism Vs. Liberalism
This ethical issue regards the choice regarding the safety of Ms. Swanson in the church. Religion is influential in the U.S as it is considered a highly religious country among the industrialized nations. However, the church is divided into the congregants who follow the scriptures as interpreted by clergy and liberalist who explore new interpretations to maximize resources in terms of inclusivity in men and women. The conservative church uses religious text interpretation to resolve issues while liberalist uses rational thinking and enlightenment.
Liberal church beliefs preach gender equality while conservatives align their thoughts with gender inequality, through interpretations from the bible. The church ought to move away from the irrational aspects of religion, such as advocating for women’s absolute submission to their partners and shifting to liberalist views where there is equal sharing of responsibilities (Perales and Bouma, 2019). Conservatism in church preaches endurance of pain while liberalist advocate for divorce in cases of shattered marriages.
Ms. Swanson is contemplating switching religious affiliation to a more conservative church. The religions she wants to convert to advocate for gender-based domestic violence with the scriptures’ guidance preach women submission to men. The writer advises her against joining the church, claiming that her life would be ruined at the end by the obsolete rules and regulations preached. The writer proposed that the client joins a more liberal church whose views reflect the modern society values.
Perales, F., & Bouma, G. (2019). Religion, religiosity, and patriarchal gender beliefs: Understanding the Australian experience. Journal of Sociology, 55(2), 323-341.