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#217979 - 04/14/08 02:30 AM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: FormerTexan]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Well said Dan. I can only hope that as I work on my feelings about religion, I too can learn to state my positions without giving cause for offense. I did my best on that post back there, but there was my bitter feelings toward religion again oozing out all over it. I don't like being that way and am trying not to..for whatever that's worth. \:\)

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#218061 - 04/14/08 02:58 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: blueshift]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Isaiah 45:5-7

I am the Eternal; nothing else exists.
There is no god other than Me.
I gird you with strength even though you have not known Me
That they may know that from the rising of the sun to its setting
There is nothing besides me.
I am the Eternal; nothing else exists.
I form light and I create darkness,
I make peace and create evil --
I the Eternal do all these things.

I think most of our problems with religion don't have so much to do with God per se as with what we expect God to be. Many of us are raised with this notion of God as a combination of Superman and Santa Claus, and of course the age-old question is "Why do bad things happen to good people" or -- better -- "Why are innocent kids victimized and abused?" and "Why doesn't God do anything to stop it?"

I don't believe that God does or can intervene in human affairs like that. I don't believe in a personal God that watches over all things and decides whom He's going to save and whom He's going to let perish, and so forth. I don't think God saves people from fires and earthquakes and muggings and other disasters -- because then that opens the question of who causes those disasters in the first place?

One of my favorite theologians definied God as "the force that makes for salvation," the collective of those qualities in the universe that allow human life to be most fully human.

God couldn't stop the perps and save us from abuse, but God is what helps us heal and overcome the damage that was done to us. God is every person on the forum. The argument may be that doesn't this mean that God only exists in the imagination? Maybe, but does that make it any less real?

Just my $0.02.

Jews kinda learned the hard way not to expect miraculous Divine deliverance from on high.

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~ Oscar Wilde

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#218093 - 04/14/08 05:27 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: VLinvictus]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
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I find the concept many people have of what they call "God" is not different at all from what I believe in...I just choose not to call what I believe in "God" because of my feelings about the word and all I associate it with.

I remember trying to go to church years ago in an effort to find some sort of spiritual community and make friends even though my beliefs were different because I felt like the differences weren't all that important. It was a Lutheran church. Problem was I found that part of the service was to recite some ...I don't know what the proper word is..recital in which everyone states out loud all of the exact things that I didn't believe in as a kind of affirmation of their faith.

I was uncomfortable there to begin with, but that just put me over the edge. Since then I have only been in churches for weddings and funerals. A lot of people don't seem to have that problem though. They go to church, sing the hymns and all that even though their own beliefs make all that pretty much meaningless ritual to them.

I just can't do it. I don't feel true to myself going through motions like that. I'll admit though, I love the sound of black gospel and some churches have good enough choirs to almost lure me in just for the music.

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#218166 - 04/14/08 10:35 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: blueshift]
VLinvictus Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: blueshift
Problem was I found that part of the service was to recite some ...I don't know what the proper word is..recital in which everyone states out loud all of the exact things that I didn't believe in as a kind of affirmation of their faith.

I was uncomfortable there to begin with, but that just put me over the edge....


I think you're talking about the Creed: "We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth etc."

I can certainly sympathize. One I was old enough to think for myself, I just can't abide being given a set of propositions that I must believe to fit in. I'm glad that Judaism doesn't really have any kind of formal creed or required beliefs. It's only been in the past 4-5 years or so that I've become more "religious" to a degree that I'm comfortable with; the rituals and practices give me the sense of meaning, structure, and connection that I need while leaving me free to explore my actual beliefs on my own terms.

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~ Oscar Wilde

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#218183 - 04/14/08 11:32 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: VLinvictus]
endlessjourney Offline
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Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Another somewhat, unsatisfying answer. Perhaps there is a big plan for all of us. I can't recall anyone who has done good in this world that has not had to struggle immensely. Our lives have been riddled with pain. No matter whether you've went through CSA or not. Now, we have had some "God" aweful demons to fight in our time. Perhaps its a test to see how strong we are and how good we are inside. I don't know. Just an idea. All I know is that, after learning to survive these aweful things that have happened to me (CSA), I've found myself feeling more whole and more loving towards others. I have went out of my way more for myself, thus allowing me to love myself. Once you love yourself, you begin to feel more compassion for others. Yea, I'm sure you've heard the same rhetoric over and over again but it seemed to be true in my case.


I know you're pissed and this may not be what you want to hear right now. It's going to take time to get all of that anger out.

In my case, I thought I just had anger for the abuser, but, in fact, deep down, I was mad at my mother for not protecting me and neglecting me when I needed help the most. I was mad at my brothers for suspecting something and not doing anything about my abuse. I was mad at my father for dying before this happened and not protecting me. After it was his friend growing up that abused me. "I was mad at my father for dying before this happened and not protecting me", sounds irrational but if you feel anger, it needs to be expressed because it 'IS' there for a reason. Next, I turned my anger to God. Spending hours cursing him and asking him "why?". I told him I hated him and to leave me to die alone and if I was going to hell, then so be it. I separated myself from what I called God for a long time. It may sound strange to some, but my conclusion to my anger, was that, I treated the concept of God, whether he exists or not, like he was just another one of the people that were on my "shitlist" that I had to face and vent my anger out on. Anger that was well deserved.

I hope this may have helped a bit. Stay strong coop. Sometimes, if you gotta say "f--k'em", say "f--k'em". Be pissed for as long as you want. You, and only you, know when it's time to let the anger go.

Good luck!
Jason

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Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#218184 - 04/14/08 11:34 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: VLinvictus]
GWsurvives Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 251
Loc: Atlanta, and here, among othe...
http://godisimaginary.com/i10.htm

just a thought..

Take good care,

GW

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#218221 - 04/15/08 02:35 AM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: VLinvictus]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity

Originally Posted By: VLinvictus

I think you're talking about the Creed: "We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth etc."


Yeah that's the word I was looking for. The Creed. Take that out, replace the hymn singing with some hand clapping finger snapping, James Brown style black gospel,..maybe take half an hour off the sermon, and you got a church I might just check out.

I don't know much about Judaism but all I've heard so far has given me a fairly favorable impression.

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#218361 - 04/15/08 05:09 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: GWsurvives]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: GWsurvives
http://godisimaginary.com/i10.htm

just a thought..

Take good care,

GW


The problem with sites and books like that is that they only seem interested in trying to prove that the fundementalist Christian god is imaginary. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins seem to only be able to focus on that "straw god," too.

I agree with most of the arguments on that site (some of them I think are pretty weakly stated), yet I still believe in "God."

I guess it depends on what that word, "God," means. \:\)

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#218362 - 04/15/08 05:12 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: blueshift]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: blueshift

I don't know much about Judaism but all I've heard so far has given me a fairly favorable impression.


Nonetheless, we have our share of fundamentalist crazies. We even, unfortunately, have had some clerical perps -- there was rabbi in Brooklyn just recently accused of molesting two young boys.

By a strange coincidence, the perps seem concentrated among the fundamentalist crazies....

...I'm not saying anything, but it does make one wonder...

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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#218366 - 04/15/08 05:49 PM Re: Is there a god........???.........who cares [Re: VLinvictus]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: VLinvictus
Jews kinda learned the hard way not to expect miraculous Divine deliverance from on high.

passover
pillar of fire
parting of the red sea
walls of Jericho
manna from heaven
Elijah and the prophets of Baal (lightening from heaven)
sun standing still

...

just thinking outloud


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