by Kelly Pelton (written 17 Feb 2022)
Denial, the great encapsulator of abuse, asserts, "women are equal in being, unequal in function" (excluded from teaching or preaching elder roles), affirmation/subordination a conjunction of opposites in this gaslighting word play, this culture of defending gender hierarchical practices. Abuse is ineffective without denial, present in male-run oligarchical fellowships, persuasive sincerity protecting religious power from feminine influence, speaking for God, deliberately misinterpreting scripture with certainty, a confusing confluence of righteous indignation and deception. Denial - unhelpful, unconscious - is willful unyielding suppression of truth, extremely convincing to those who sense something's not right in the wielding of power to restrict half the body of Christ from church-wide leadership contribution. Denial questions the hearts and motives of others but never itself, freely engaging in the attribution of selfish ambition as cause for questioning the hierarchy, using fear of this to distract from its own ambition, projecting its own flaws in the form of accusations to intimidate those who would voice opposition.