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#313033 - 12/05/09 06:41 AM how can religion be so good?
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Hello,

I have had a number of discussions, chats and postings in recent months since being here with people of all kinds of backgrounds. Consistently disturbing to me has been the topic of religion and orientation. I read daily about guys expressing their distress about their orientation vis-a-vis their religion. I read about ex-wives forbiding children to allow visitation because of orientation and religious based prejudices. I don't think I'm making it up in my mind, but some people have even lost their families because they had at some point been involved in a situation, read: their abuse, which was same sex. I've read about guys living their whole lives alone because of their religion. I've seen people call an orientation other than hetero as wrong rooted in the religious beliefs. A father tells his son he is no longer a member of his family because of strict religious teachings.


My disclaimer, I'm not religious nor gay or bi but I know what it feels like to think you are even if it was inaccurate. When I discovered my own truth, I was not happy because I would be alright in god's eyes, but because I found something which "felt" right.

Back to my question:

How can certain religions be considered to be such a positive thing when they make so many of our brothers here feel like they have a fatal flaw for being gay or bisexual? What is the benefit to a thought system or belief system that prevents people from being themselves and living a happy life in the way that feels best or most natural to them. I had to live for many years during my abuse as gay (a unique feature in some ways of my csa it seems so far)...I wouldn't wish the reverse on one of my gay brothers here under any circumstances.

I apologize if my language sounds confrontational, disrespectful or uninformed. I would be curious as to thoughts.

As I said above, I'm not religious but I have of course read and heard the relevant biblical passages. If the answer is simply "because the bible tells me so" then I guess therein lies my lack of comprehension or divergence of thought from those who agree with that point of view. I would be quite interested in this.

Again to be clear, I'm not question any religions point of view I'm asking how can they (those religions) be viewed in a positive light with those built in disqualifying features. Take the good leave the bad doesn't seem to be an option either when leaving the bad means denying a central aspect of yourself.

sono

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#313045 - 12/05/09 11:10 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: sono]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 826
Loc: Ohio
Well, that is a deep subject. In my own case, I get a sense of peace in knowing that God is perfectly aware of every fault, sometimes even faults I am unaware of, and still loves me. I have found with the sexual orientation, that many people use religion as a way to control others and elevate themselves. For this reason, Jesus spoke out against the Pharisees. In America, we seek to define marriage as one man and one woman. Do a survey of the marriages described in the Bible and the majority by a landslide are polygamous. In other words, people tend to seek out their own morals and justify them in the Bible, rather than doing what they claim which is reading the Bible to set their morals.

When was the last stoning you attended? Why do supposedly religious, educated people oppose the death penalty? Thou Shalt Not Kill is actually Thou Shalt Not Murder (or kill innocents).

That is why others have complained of me being judgmental because of my own decisions. What is not apparent are the logs in my own eye of which I am entirely aware.

Another historical inaccuracy arises when people cite all of the wars started by religions. When you actually discover the historical details aside from the political rhetoric used, you find roots in different ethnic and political groups as well as the competing economic interests of the above.

In my own case, turning to Jesus Christ gave me a source of understanding and unconditional love along with a framework to base my behavior and how to treat others. I went from a rebelious bad boy who did all sorts of things to someone that buckled down in studies, applied himself to being productive and supportive of others. I stopped trying to figure out how to use people and focused on bettering myself and others. Before, I had backed out of a slot at a prestigious university to join the Marines with the motive of dying a noble death rather than a shameful suicide. After being made aware of my true intentions in joining, the recruiter let me out of my contract, saying he didn't want a guy like that in the same foxhole with him. I then went to college, graduated and served my country for over five years in the Army for the right reasons.

During that time I had a vision of the color white, the truly pure white, and I realized how impossible perfection truly is and that (if you truly understand the Christian Faith) God sacrificed His Son to atone for our imperfections. Its a free gift. We just have to humble ourselves and accept that. I will never be perfect, but I accept that for what it is. I will never not be attracted to males. Some have become aware of that and rejected me. So be it.

Another part to that bargain is that if you accept that forgiveness, how can you then look at someone else and cry out that they are not worthy.

One thing I struggle with: What if my abuser, who was never punished on earth for his crimes, found Jesus before dying and received forgiveness. Will I storm out of heaven?




Edited by catfish86 (12/05/09 11:19 AM)
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#313059 - 12/05/09 12:17 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: catfish86]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Religion historically has departed from encouraging an intimate and healthy relationship with God and spiraled down into legalism and bigotry on a good day, worse on a bad. I am not a big fan of "religion". I think when the creature has come to make contact with his creator in an open and honest way many good things can happen to him, his character, attitude and personality. When he attempts to make a "religion" out of what he has experienced and insist that others comform to the manner in which God has revealed himself to that man then error, sometimes grevious can infect both he and his victims.

Religion has seldom done anything good for humanity. If it leads to loving and caring for our fellow man then it follows the desires of God. Anything less is not of God even if done in his name. Much evil has been inflicted on the world in the name of God. Much evil has been blamed on the devil. Man has capacity for greatness in love and generosity. He also has that same level of capacity for evil and destruction. It is the nature of Choice that man has been given.

Some of the most evil men in history were wonderfully kind to their dogs. No one I have seen or heard of is totally good save one and we killed him. He made us too uncomfortable.


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#313276 - 12/06/09 11:47 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: Freedom49]
Derdlecar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1314
Loc: Ogden Utah, USA
sono,

Suppose, for the sake of argument, I am a born again, bible thumping Christian and I have a living, loving relationship with Jesus Christ. Also for the sake of argument, lets say that I have a personal conviction based on what I read in the bible that homosexuality is sin.

That being said, what should my attitude be towards those who don't share my convictions? How should I treat those who, by my understanding of>
_________________________
If a man would get his life on track, he must first go back to the place where it was derailed.

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#313296 - 12/07/09 01:30 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: Derdlecar]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, Sono.

I don't think it is secret anymore - I am your brother here who has NO contact with family after I admitted my ssa. I came out 20 years ago.

I was told by my dad to never come home. My ex-wife made sure I would have no contact with the kids.

It hurts to be judged and ostracized. It is very lonely.

I appreciate your words of curiosity or inquiring into how can religions and families be so hateful. For me it is about their own insecurities.

I will get lashed at for saying the above.

Anyways, thanks for being asking. thanks for helping it to not be so lonely.

DJ

DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#313302 - 12/07/09 01:47 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: DJsport]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
DJ,

You are not alone.
There are those of us who care.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#313732 - 12/09/09 03:12 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: michael banks]
jbh8 Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 94


Edited by jbh8 (02/20/13 03:53 PM)

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#313799 - 12/09/09 11:46 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: jbh8]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2503
Loc: Denver, CO
in my opinion, one more thing we need to keep in mind - "religion" is man-made, based on flawed, imperfect human beings trying to turn simple truths into something that fit their idea of "right and wrong".

too many times words have been twisted and turned to give power to one group or take it from another.

a fact I have always found fascinating is, although there are four (five?) words in the Greek for "homosexual male" - none of them were ever used in the>
_________________________
the story
    https://1in6.org/men/bristlecone/mark-krueger/

Kirkridge - October 2008
Alta - September 2012
Alta - September 2013

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#313809 - 12/10/09 12:33 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: MarkK]
LilacLouie Offline


Registered: 07/02/09
Posts: 359
Loc: Utah
I am an ordained minister and I have the documents to verify it if need be.

In my church, what you do in your bedroom is your business. So long as it's not a sex crime against another person, hell we don't care if you castrate yourself with a pencil sharpener. Your home is your castle, and you have the right to absolute privacy. AFAIC you can bang goats if you want. You, IF you were a member of my congregation, don't answer to me! You answer to God! What you two talk about only becomes my business IF you tell me. Until then I don't know and I don't care.

I only help guide you to share His Kingdom with Him.

So if you want to be gay, be gay. I don't care. Yes the Bible speaks against it, and yes the Bible does say that we are our brother's keeper. But that means helping you when you need help, not telling you how to run your life.


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#315464 - 12/20/09 11:42 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: LilacLouie]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
The question was asked, "How can religion be so good?" I have a quote in my collection that came to me from I have no idea where. For me it answers the question well:

“Religion is for those who are trying to avoid Hell and spirituality is for those of us who've already been there.”

_________________________
“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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#315506 - 12/21/09 11:27 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: sono]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Quote:
I'm not religious but I have of course read and heard the relevant biblical passages. If the answer is simply "because the bible tells me so" then I guess therein lies my lack of comprehension or divergence of thought from those who agree with that point of view.


actually that all depends on whose interpretation you're reading.

mel white former ghost writer for jerry fallwell and founder of soulforce

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#315763 - 12/22/09 03:20 PM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: Sans Logos]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2452
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brothers.

Quite a few of my fraternal brothers have pretty much have helped me in my confusion in my spirituality. But i think that the best one, atleast for me at this particular time is from Walking South.

The difference between religion & spirituality. If i may steal, ok, ok, borrow his words.
Spirituality is for those whom have been there (hell). And my brothers pretty well sums it up for us. We have spent our time in hell.

In the spirit of a little boy, born 2000+ years ago.

Heal well my brothers, heal well.

Little Pete & big Pete..but 1 (Irishmoose).

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#315852 - 12/23/09 01:15 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: LilacLouie]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: LilacLouie
we don't care if you castrate yourself with a pencil sharpener.


Please provide more instructions. This isn't clear. laugh

Allen

pufferfish whistle


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#316235 - 12/25/09 11:23 AM Re: how can religion be so good? [Re: sono]
mrd Offline


Registered: 04/01/09
Posts: 28
Hello

Sono, my brother, for me religion is a tool of the devil. I mean man uses religion as a way to deceive himself into thinking he is god devoid of God. My view of God comes from the Bible. Now, the book can be misinterpreted to mean what any individual wants it to for their own benefit. I believe God created everything for his glory. The bible says we are all Gods, however to be a God we must submit to the God that created it all. All He asks us is to Love Him and all His creation. We are all flawed in some way and God still loves us. Hence he sent Jesus , His son, to reconnect us to Him through faith in Him. By His grace He opened my mind to understand that no matter what a person does he has the ability to be reconnected to God, yes even my abusers. I know firsthand what being disconnected from God enables one to do, plus just look at our world today. A good look, through the appearance of happiness, shows the pain and turmoil of not putting God first. Religion is another attempt to isolate some as righteous and only Jesus can do that. We are all equal, born with nothing die with nothing except the ability to chose. Loving God's creation has the greatest impact on humanity and will not decay!! If religion helps all of us to be ready for Jesus return then it is good. If it just isolates some, they are deceived. We all bleed red blood, which man religious or not can't make. No matter the color, orientation, belief we are all family by blood. We are only as strong as the weakest person. Degrading anyone degrades self, building others builds self. This is my belief, believe it or not I love you any way ( more so if you don't ), in the hope that God's love living in me leads all to Him.

Peace and Love
mrd

_________________________
Ignorance is the most dangerous element in human society.

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