Saturday, July 26, 2008

Explaining Botkin Syndrome Triangulation (Part I of III): Objectification

Having reviewed the basics of triangulation, I would like to explain my concerns about the Botkin model for raising families. The model views deems males more powerful and capable in respect to both essence and capability, physically and spiritually. In addition, all family members, boys until they are deemed adult men and all women and girls throughout their whole lives, must serve their male “federal head.” (Many Reformed ministers I know attest that the Botkin/patriocentric interpretation misrepresents and grossly misinterprets "federal headship".) In addition, women and girls are required to defer to males in general as well, whether they are their brothers or even their 13 year old sons. Many believe that two factors combine to create a very dysfunctional environment for women, particularly daughters, as is promoted in the teachings of the “Visionary Daughters.” Women, particularly young women and girls are used as objects to gratify needs, particularly by fathers but also by all males in general.

Objectification of children and all females

Whether they formally profess agreement with the ontological subordination of females as the “derivative” or “indirect” image of God in comparison with males (the direct image of God) matters little. Coming right out to admit this would be interpreted as a red flag to people, so they say anything but that direct statement, using unstated assumption and intentional vagueness for the purpose of denying culpability. They use these logical fallacies and propaganda techniques to convey their message subtly and deceive their intended audience. They will not come out and directly state “Woman is made in man’s image” because those specific words would be inflammatory to most Christians, though I believe that everything else that they teach is completely consistent with this premise. It is subtle and crafty.

The consequences of this assumption objectifies women, or that which treats all females as objects to be used like a tools. It is far easier to blame a lesser creature for one’s problems, just as it is quite easy to “kick the dog” after a hard day of frustration. Original sin, seeking to be like God (not woman seeking to be like man as some teach), was followed fast with blame by Adam. In Genesis 3:11-12, when God asks Adam why he disobeyed God’s command to refrain from eating of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam explains that he did so because the woman that God gave him gave him the fruit to eat, so Adam ate. Many interpret this as a very unmanly attempt to reduce his own culpability or “pass the buck” to both God first and then to Eve. The Botkin model does not follow the “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone” concept that Adam states himself in Genesis 2:23, but more closely approximates the Genesis 3:12 concept that woman is at fault for his own shortcomings and choices.

Under such conditions, it is quite easy to “scapegoat” all women, laying blame upon her for all the ills of mankind. Many notable Bible teachers affiliated with CBMW teach that sin actually entered mankind through woman, but as a technicality, God made Adam responsible because of either or both “federal headship” and “progeniture.” I believe that this interpretation can only be “read into” the text (eisegesis) because of the presuppositions that define all females as lesser creatures. This is also a “Fallacy of the Simple Cause” or "Single Cause" that explains relationships in oversimplified terms, explaining relationships with faulty causalities. Scapegoating is then a consequence of this oversimplification: A single cause or element is identified and vilified as the source of all undesirable circumstances or outcomes. The scapegoat distracts the audience from other possible contributing factors. These teachings are well noted in “So Much More” and “Return of the Daughters” wherein women are attributed the driving desire to usurp man’s authority (and not to be like God as the Genesis account teaches). In redefining women in this way, I believe that the enmity that God placed between the serpent and the woman has been improperly reassigned between man and woman. (Wives are redefined as a husband’s adversary and not as his helpmeet.)