H/t to a commenter at Sailer, rape and molestation are rampant among Old Colony Mennonites in Bolivia.
What do these strange and isolated people have to do with the modern world? The attitudes they hold- the moral superiority and cultural isolation- are only an extreme expression of the attitudes that rule the age. These people have remained farmers, and moved farther and farther away from the modern world, others with the same attitudes- the Puritans and Quakers- became businessmen, and took over the world as it moved from agriculture to industry and trade.
The same kind of thing has happened among the Amish in the US, and of course very famously with Catholic priests in the US. A child is sexually abused. A pro forma apology is made, and the victim is required to forgive. The abuser continues the behavior, and the victim complains. Again, a pro forma apology is made, and the victim is required to forgive. The victim either puts up with this- like the girls in the article- or if they want stronger measures to be taken, they become the evil one for being angry and not forgiving.
This is based on the self-serving application of the concept of unconditional forgiveness. Progressive Christians certainly don’t believe in unconditional forgiveness for things they oppose, but for things they don’t mind, or to avoid being put out, they will require it.
The fact that reading the bible is not only not encouraged, but discouraged reminded me of the Catholicism I grew up with. Bible reading wasn’t discouraged, but it wasn’t regarded as necessary or helpful. All the religious knowledge you needed you got in church, from brief readings and brief messages about the readings. But in reality Catholic moral norms are enforced by the elders. The elders in Irish Catholicism are post-menopausal women, who on a daily basis instruct and admonish on proper behavior.
The system of the Old Colony Mennonites, just like the system we live under, isn’t about the good, it’s just about controlling people. You do what you are told, and at least pretend to believe what you are told, or you are thrown out. But sometimes it’s better to be thrown out.