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#166827 - 07/15/07 02:44 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: shadowkid]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Adam,

I would never begrudge how you feel about things at the time you were 11yo, or now for that matter. I am one of the first people who will say 'state how you feel.' There is nothing wrong in saying "I felt abandonded by God," or "I feel like God just threw me to the wolves." Be angry, yes! Share that anger, share that disappointment. I will never tell you or anyone how to feel about God. No one should.

It's the seemingly-matter-of-fact opinions that will feel abrasive to me. Statements like 'the bible is a fairy tale' don't ring true to me at all, especially after all the work I've done in my life to discover its origins and authenticity. And then theaterkid made a statement about how science has proven the bible wrong, which is simply not true in my thinking and experience. It's taking the feelings of anger towards God and turning it into insults that doesn't sit well with me, perhaps not with some others here either.

You know me. You know I will walk as many steps with you as it takes if you need to share your anger or frustration about whatever or whoever. I will never judge that, and couldn't in reality do so anyway. I only ask that other comments that brush against others core beliefs not be made here. To me that feels probably about the same as going to someone and telling them 'forgive your perp or you're going to hell.'

And by the way, if you feel I say something out of line, please bring it to my attention. It makes sense that I should grant the same courtesy I ask for.



Edited by FormerTexan (07/15/07 02:57 PM)
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List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#166828 - 07/15/07 02:50 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: FormerTexan]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Larry,

"How can your time here possibly help you if you cannot be yourself and say what you think and feel?"

I totally agree with that in as far as other's sensibilities are not tread thereon. There are no wrong feelings in my book, but all of us on the board have to choose our words with care, myself included.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#166839 - 07/15/07 04:01 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: FormerTexan]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Originally Posted By: FormerTexan
I totally agree with that in as far as other's sensibilities are not tread thereon. There are no wrong feelings in my book, but all of us on the board have to choose our words with care, myself included.


I think we're in agreement here, but perhaps this is something to talk about. I will leave Shadow out of the discussion since he's not the only one who's affected.

Many guys on the site struggle with the problem of believing in a merciful compassionate God while at the same time looking back to horrific abuse in their own childhood. How could God have allowed that to happen? Various aspects of this trouble so many of us, including you and me.

Our responses, however, vary. I know you are a guy of profound faith and I respect you so much for that; I wish I had the strength and serenity that your faith so clearly provides to you. I once did have it, as a boy, but since the abuse, which included numerous episodes in the church that were designed deliberately to shame and humiliate me in the most extreme ways imaginable (and some - as you know - unimaginable), I find myself more or less broken spiritually. I don't deny that, and I wish I had more effective ideas on what to do about it. I consider myself a spiritual and believing person, but I just have no idea how to connect with this God I believe in.

There are, however, guys who feel that abuse shows them a God who is either uncaring or impotent to act, if he even exists at all. They feel profound anger at God, perhaps in much the same way that others feel anger at the abusers. What are they to do with this anger?

I personally think they need to let it out. There must of course be limits, in the same way that there are limits on what we say to each other in other aspects of our discussions here on the site. But if a guy needs to say that he disbelieves in God, or is angry with God, or resents or hates God, then those are feelings he needs to let out. To deny him this option is to privilege one view of religious experience over another.

So where is the line crossed? It seems to me that one guy's needs for expression should not be filled by invalidating the feelings of others. That is, if a guy rejects belief in God it's his right to say so, but his statements should not go so far as to ridicule guys who do believe in God and find religion important in their lives. If someone tells me "I don't believe in God", that's his view and I can accept that he feels this way; I would want him to be able to say that to us. But I would not want to hear something like, "Belief in God is stupid". That's crossing the line, I think.

For me this is comparable to the difference between saying, for example, "The abuse was not your fault" and "You are stupid if you think the abuse was your fault". We should all feel free to express our feelings, but that needs to be done without disempowering or belittling our brothers here on the site who may be in a different place in their recovery or may be handling their issues in different ways.

Much love,
Larry


_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#166857 - 07/15/07 05:38 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: roadrunner]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Larry,

You are saying everything I'm thinking. Let the feelings out, yes, but also have limits. Of course that applies to me as well.

I don't really know how much "strength" I have in my faith, but thank you for saying that.

I too had an abusive experience with someone in a church. Perp #3 was some kind of counselor in a church. I know firsthand because of that man what betrayal and debasement feel like. I know firsthand how anyone else can have a horrible perception of God and church. You say bible to them and they want to spit. And I don't blame them one bit. On the other hand, my first connection with adults that had any compassion was a bus driver at 13 who saw my misery and wanted to help. They only way he really could was to have me ride with him on the bus another round while he led me in a prayer. So you could say I've experienced both sides of this topical coin.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#166877 - 07/15/07 09:00 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: FormerTexan]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
[
Originally Posted By: FormerTexan
Adam,

then theaterkid made a statement about how science has proven the bible wrong, which is simply not true in my thinking and experience.


First of all I appologise if i offended any one by this statement that was not my intention...

but the bible has been proven to be inaccurate. there are hundreds of beliefs that come from the bible that scientifically just don't make sense. like the age of the world, the idea that a women came from a man. not the other way around, a global flood,

I understand how religion helps people. i get that. and im fine with it. but to tell me that their is more truth in the bible than say Lord of the Rings or Star Wars i flat out don't believe... show me the evidence.

but anyways my point of posting what i did wasnt to say the bible wasnt true. which i do believe. but my point was to say instead of turning to god for help. why not turn to each other. i think people use religion as a support to find a sense of belonging and understanding. In my limited experience (limited cus im only 18) people that are devoutley religious use their church community as a support the people help each other and for the most part try to be the best they can amongst each other because they have the same common beliefs. What i meant to say earlier is why do we need the bible to make us do this. why shouldnt we all try to do the best and help each other regardless of our beliefs.


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#166879 - 07/15/07 09:06 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: theatrekid]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: theatrekid
but the bible has been proven to be inaccurate

so much of life is based on where you stand - what you see as proof, truth, etc .... personally, I've never seen any proof of inaccuracy ...

BUT - I know that this place has been good for me.

Maybe I should be happy with that and go no further.

M


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#166888 - 07/15/07 09:34 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: MarkK]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
MarkK this place has been good for all of us i think.

this place is a living example of what i mean. Every one on here is so completely different but we all are here to help each other and be helped. we do this because we understand what we have been through not because we believe in the same stuff i think thats what makes it a good place..

I think having the conversation about religion vs. science is important not because i seek to prove people wrong but because we should be able to understand other peoples beliefs even if we think they are completely wrong.

Any ways thats how i see it.

,Chris


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#166893 - 07/15/07 09:47 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: theatrekid]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Chris,

"why not turn to each other."

Well, we do here all the time.

And in my mind, why not do both?

Thanks for clarifying too.



Edited by FormerTexan (07/15/07 09:52 PM)
_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#166895 - 07/15/07 09:58 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: theatrekid]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
I think what sticks out to me about this whole conversation is not necessarily what we each believe as far as our faith, or science, or what we don't believe. I think what Andy was getting at, and I agree with, is that we need to be respectful of others beliefs, even if we don't agree with them. As Larry noted above, it's one thing to state that you don't agree with someone else's beliefs, but quite another to belittle them because of their beliefs. I think it's important to understand that for some people, their faith is the very essence of who they are -- be it Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, whatever. To talk derogatory about what they base their faith on may make them feel that this applies similarly about them as well. I think it just comes down to a basic level of respect for others and what they choose to base their beliefs on.

_________________________
Eddie

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#166896 - 07/15/07 09:59 PM Re: Thing thats tough for me... [Re: EGL]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Very well articulated, Eddie. Thanks.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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