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-Media Features ‘Christians’ in Female Genital Mutilation Story?

by Dr. D ~ May 5th, 2017

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Last week the USA Today newspaper featured a picture of a ‘Christian’ in its story about female genital mutilation. The article-"Genital mutilation victims break their silence: ‘This is demonic.’" -featuring the increasing problem of FGM in America was carried by a number of major newspapers and websites across the country. The story came in response to the news a couple of weeks ago that three people including two doctors were arrested in Michigan for illegally performing FGM.

The problem is almost entirely contained within the American Muslim community including the three Muslims that were arrested, but you wouldn’t know that by the article. The USA Today feature implied that it was a practice and a problem also among ‘fundamentalist’ Christians.

Yet there is no teaching on this anywhere in the Christian community and I can’t find even one Christian leader, pastor, denomination, or church which actually teaches FGM. Nevertheless the article featured one Christian lady who said that her mother took her to a ‘fundamentalist Christian’ doctor who performed FGM on her over 60 years ago.

This is an outrageous example of how members of the media will go out of the way to present ‘facts’ in a lying way that imply the worst about Christians and the church while trying to make Muslims and Islam look a little better in the process. I agree- ‘This is Demonic’ both FGM and the way the story itself was written.

For more, here’s Charisma News on the USA Today article:

Facts don’t always line up to tell the truth—especially in today’s world of news, where facts are often used to lead the reader or viewer to believe a complete lie.

This is what happened last week when USA Today ran a front-page story headlined, "Genital mutilation victims break their silence: ‘This is demonic.’"

Under the headline was a picture of an elderly woman with a bolded statement, saying, "A. Renee Bergstrom, 72, said a fundamentalist Christian doctor mutilated her genitals in 1947 to prevent her from masturbating."

And there was her picture, on the front page under the headline, with the name "Christian" in bold.

We’re grateful USA Today took on this gruesome issue—an issue that exists primarily in extreme sects of the Islamic religion. But at first glance, you wouldn’t know that crucial fact, because the front cover only highlighted the word "Christian."

The truth is, neither the Bible nor any Christian doctrine or denomination condones female genital mutilation. As a matter of fact, the Christian faith not only elevates and celebrates women, it cherishes the pleasure of sexual intimacy.

But USA Today didn’t report those facts. It simply took one fact—one that is so extreme and opposed to the Christian faith—and positioned it on the front page, reporting in such a way as to lead the reader to believe fundamental Christian belief condones this practice.

<Read the whole article>

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3 Responses to -Media Features ‘Christians’ in Female Genital Mutilation Story?

  1. Brian

    After reading your piece, Dr. D, I googled the topic and found myself on the “Human Rights Watch” webpage, (www.hrw.org), which has a section of FGM. They go out of their way to say that no religion is associated with FGM, but that some adherents of “Islam, Christianity and Judaism” practice it.

    The next article was in that reputable journal, Mother Jones, which has an art icle that FGM is “not a uniquely Moslem problem”

    web page “stopfgmmideast.org “and is practiced by Muslims, Christians and Animists alike”.

    Huffington Post – “FGM performed by Christians and Muslims in Africa” and it allegedly was practiced in 19th Century America per Huffingtonpost.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing I found was this blog spot:

    http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2013/06/bbc-and-christian-tradition-of-female.html

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian, interesting article including the comments.

    Here’s a link to the original article:
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/04/22/female-genital-mutilation-victims-michigan/100690792/
    The most egregious handling of this article was done by USA Today which featured the picture of the 72 year old woman identified as a ‘Christian’ on their front page. If you read the article the ‘Muslim community’ is only mentioned once and the only statement pointing to any kind of theological position comes during the story of the 72 year old Christian lady who claimed a ‘fundamentalist Christian‘ doctor performed it on her. Then comes the shocking revelation that the US State Department issued a video featuring her story to demonstrate that it wasn’t just a Muslim or African problem.

    The most surprising part is that the US CDC claims that over 500,000 women in America have gone through FGM. If you research their numbers, the percentage of increase seems to come at the very same time with the increase of Muslims in America.

  3. Brian

    The 72 year old woman, Dr. A. Renee Bergstrom, is all over the internet, announcing that she underwent FGM in a “Christian clinic” at age 3. She never identifies the doctor or the clinic. However, she states it was in a suburb in Minnesota (always a stronghold of Evangelical Christianity)!

    I searched online to find the name of the doctor/clinic. I found none.

    My point, therefore, is that there were very few (if any) church sponsored medical clinics in suburban Minnesota in 1947 (or now). The few church clinics that existed would have been inner city clinics providing social services to the poor. There would have been hospitals etc. sponsored by the Catholic Church (do you know how many St. Luke’s Hospitals there are in the US?). But few, if any (or zero) medical clinics in Minnesota in 1947 would have had any links to the religious groups we think of when we say “fundamentalist Christianity”.

    Therefore, I submit, the burden of proof is on Bergstrom to establish the link that she has claimed. She should name the clinic/doctor/church involved and stop merely asserting that “fundamentalist” Christianity is at fault. (my hunch is that, since she was only 3 years old at the time – she does not even KNOW the name of the clinic/doctor or church allegedly involved).

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