How Christianity Enables Child Abuse

On Kirk Franklin, respect, and ‘Biblical’ abuse

Kitty Williams

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Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Kirk Franklin, the Grammy award winning gospel music artist, was recently exposed in a recording of a phone conversation he had with his adult son, Kerrion Franklin.

In it, Kirk can be heard saying to his son “You need to get your skinny motherfucking ass back out the goddamn way before I put my foot in your ass.” he continues “I will break your neck if you ever disrespect me,” before hanging up. Kerrion posted the audio online, saying “This is why I’m done. No father should speak to their children like this.”

Kirk issued an apology, but as is usually the case when powerful and prominent people get caught doing something wrong, the apology is more of an “I’m sorry I got caught” and “I’m sorry this might negatively affect my career and therefore my finances and lifestyle”. I can smell the bullshit from wherever Kirk is recording his faux apology from.

Kirk plays the victim well, making sad faces and telling the world how “toxic” his family’s relationship with his son is. It’s the classic story of the prodigal son and the loving, long-suffering father, waiting for him to return.

Of course people were quick to take up for Kirk Franklin. As a powerful Christian man it seems he can do no wrong. The abusive theology and harmful attitudes present within Christianity enable this sort of behavior, holding up the offender and casting judgment upon the victim.

Bible passages such as “honor your father and mother”, “spare the rod and spoil the child” and “wives submit to your husbands” are used to enable, excuse and normalize abuse, not only in the church but in our society in general, being as heavily influenced by Christianity as we are.

I highly recommend reading this article for more examples:

Abusive people are quick to make excuses for themselves, with gems like “I’m not perfect”, “I made a mistake” and “I’m human”.

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Kitty Williams

writer of sad poetry & essays on feminism, politics, LGBTQ, religion & whatever else I feel like. bookworm, stargazer, daydreamer & devoted mom to fur babies