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Read Letter

Battery, Divorce or Dogma

Dear Jil,

I am worried for the life of your sister. She’s in a horrible and terribly abusive marriage; and why is everyone playing religious ostrich? If anything untoward happens to her would you not all bear moral responsibility for her death?

Yes, she got pregnant out of turn. Yes, you warned her not to marry him; but all that is history now! She took foolish decisions, made mistakes of youth, just like the rest of us. The only difference is that the consequence of her decisions is a feature length horror movie. She’s married to a very violent and abusive man. He’s a troubled young man. Belongs to the sanatorium.

Wife and girlfriend battering is now so rampant we’re culturally sedated into accepting domestic violence. Unfortunately mothers who endured abuse also tend to condition their daughters into acceptance. When their daughters complain of abuse they preach perseverance as circumstantial virtue. “Persevere my daughter. Marriage is like that.” No, marriage is NOT like that! Abuse is not God’s intendment.

The level of abuse described in your letter, any abuse, negates the very essence of marriage. Let Daddy know that the fact that he disowned her after pregnancy won’t erase the fact she’s his daughter. Her death will haunt him to the grave if he does nothing to rescue her. Does he want a haunting legacy? Your sister’s husband sleeps with a knife under his pillow. What kind of matrimonial self defence is that? What if he has a nightmare? One such nightmare and your sister is gone – sliced and diced to oblivion. He beats her blue-black almost on a daily basis. She’s become a pugilistic ensemble, an amateur boxer’s punching bag. He disgraces her in the streets, strips her stark naked. What’s left of her dignity and esteem? And he sleeps with her domestic servants and confrontational silly girls. What more disgrace can she afford? Isn’t her humiliation your family shame?!

The young man is sadistically empowered against her because he knows her family has abandoned her. He’s wrecked her psychologically. A bright young thing has been processed into a poor human specimen. Even if she survives him she must still survive the experience. Bitterness is being synthesised in her. I know some insist the Bible insists she can’t leave the marriage. But you see, these people are not the ones experiencing the trauma. They’re theological theoreticians. They’ll even ask you to pray for grace to bear the pain and trauma. Why?! What a sadistic and bondage inspired wickedness! It is nothing but recommended death by dogma; an insensate magisterial display of oppressive and deceitful hypocrisy.

I sometimes wonder if the absolutism of their doctrinaire approach to marriage will still be held if it’s their daughter. Legalistic interpretation of scriptures makes no room for compassion and mercy – the very essence of true religion. If your son runs into a ditch during a mandated no work period, do you honour legalism or rescue your son? If your child has an accident on an environmental sanitation day, wouldn’t you take her to hospital despite legal restriction? Is doctrine blind to mercy? Isn’t blind dogma antithetical to the spirit of the mission of Jesus? Or why would Jesus persistently flout the Sabbath to deliver people from satanic oppression and bondage? There is the spirit (the objective and essence) of the law; there is the letter of the law. The letter killeth. Wasn’t misaligned dogma the cause of the persistent altercation between Jesus and the Pharisees? If the life is taken who then will obey the dictates of even the dogma? Can the dead praise God? Should we hold people absolutely to their mistake of youth? And should God reciprocate our kindness? If Jesus has come to set people free why do we insist on binding them with dogmatic fetters of iron? Is our job to condemn or bind up the broken hearted? This so called marriage is no longer marriage. It is now the missionary endeavour of an energised child of the Devil.

It is because of terrible examples of this nature that I warn young people against foolishness in partner choice. That guy, that woman you’ll call spouse is going to determine the trajectory and outcome of your life. Choose wisely. If a guy is already exhibiting violent traits before you marry, isn’t that a warning? Do you think saying “I do” will cure his temperament? His frustrations are going to become his Red Bull. If he’s beating you before marriage he’s going to beat you after marriage. To go ahead with such marriage is self abuse.

I’m sometimes bewildered by the mails I receive from young men and women. In a mail just last week a lady outlined all the terrible features of her man – all the reasons she shouldn’t marry him. And then came the clincher: “But I love him! What should I do?!” Tell me, this “love”, is it idiotic or what? Or is it foolishness? Is “love” devoid of commonsense? The problem often is that people mistake emotions for love. If you watch a sad movie you will become overtaken with emotion. The movie is not real yet you cry. That should give you an insight into emotion. It is no proof of reality. Just a chemical response to a trigger. Ordinary chocolate can trigger emotions. Emotion is not love. But we express love with emotion. And many times it’s just the groin talking. A groin-centred relationship is blind-siding. If everything is pointing to a terrible and horrible marriage, why keep planning for it with gusto? Love is not blind. And if your love has cataract you better go for eye surgery.

Marriage processes you whether you like it or not. It is a powerful institution. Go and save the life of your sister. If she dies you are culpable. The lady we read about in the daily – the one allegedly stabbed 76 times by her husband: Is she speaking to us from the grave? Is she transmitting invaluable lessons?

I have said my piece. My conscience is clear.

Your mentor,


©Leke Alder

Tags : Divorce, Battery, Marriage

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