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#319464 - 01/20/10 04:13 AM Healing and Religion
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
I've had more time online tonight than I normally do, so I've spent most of it reading in other forums. One problem shows up for me continually though. Religion. It keeps popping up and there's not much more trauma inducing for me than that.

I'm sure there are others in this forum who are non-theist. How do you cope with this?

I grew up and lived in an area for most of my life where even a hint of being gay or being atheist would have gotten a man killed. I've only been out of that area for a year now, but the wounds are too many and too deep to heal that fast.

I get so tired of being told that an atheist can't have morals, and the like. I do have my problems but as a friend (preachers kid) once told me "You're the most moral person I know."

I think this may be one of the top three problems I have to deal with. I don't know a proper way to address it and the hurt and insecurities arise from the depths of my personality with the mention of "church" or "god". And goodness knows that's without bringing "gay" into the picture.

How have you all dealt with these situations?

Thanks,
Mike


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#319470 - 01/20/10 08:16 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: Joren
(preachers kid) once told me "You're the most moral person I know."


Mike,

My first thought is to be YOU. No matter our sexuality or other belief (non-theist) we are who we are.

After reading a child (wisdom comes out of mouths of the chidren) said the most simpliest and truest thing "You're the most moral person I know."

You might have to examine or NOT the things taught you but nothing can or needs to be changed in you.

I was once a licensed minister. I am openly gay man who is very comfortable with my sexuality (not intimacy). I have my own beliefs about religion.

Hug yourself often,

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#319476 - 01/20/10 08:45 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: DJsport]
expom Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Australia
Mike,
I was brought up in a very tight Christian fundamentalist home. That did not stop me being abused sexually by a neighbour but it did stop me feeling OK about telling what was going on.

I have learnt not to blame any creator for what happened to me because it was a human who violated me.

When I told my family about 18 months ago about the 'who' and named the 'what' without going into details (except admitting to my brother that yes I had been raped), I have been appalled at the lack of compassion, understanding, empathy, closeness, sorrow etc that I thought I should be able to expect from a Christian family.

Has that altered my view of a concerned creator being? No not a bit of it. He is not responsible for their bigotry - they are.

Sometimes I just have to admit that not everything is about me. What happened to me as a kid was not about me: it was about a paedophile getting away with sexual abuse of a boy.

Like DJ says "hug yourself often".

I still find this hard to do - I still feel unworthy of any hugs let alone from myself.

How have I dealt with these situations? Putting it as simply as I can I have come to the realisation that "If there is a God, and if He/She/It is who they say they are, then that Being will be far more concerned with dealing with who it was that failed to protect boys like you and me and also with those who judged themselves to be so far above that Beings laws and priciples that they felt justified in vilifying one part of the community who are rarely in a position to stand up for themselves."

So, I happen to be a 'theist'. I also happen to identify as being heterosexual (despite some confusion whilst trying to make sense of what happened to me as a kid and engaging in some 'acting out' for a while) but that doesn't mean that I am immune from the same concerns that you have.

I am still ashamed of the many things that are done and said in the name of religion that have absolutely nothing to do with any form of relationship with a creator being - at least not that I can understand. But I belong to the silent majority who find it difficult to stand and rail against those who assume a moral high ground with having a legitimate claim to that territory.

Mike, I hope that you can find peace within yourself as you wrestle with these difficult issues. Again, I would apologise - even though its not my place to do so - for those who have failed you and caused you unnecessary pain with regard to your chosen belief structure and the way you express yourself sexually. But remember it is more about them than it is about you.

As I have concentrated on my own recovery I have found that some of these matters have lost some of their importance and urgency for me - its like there is still a bad smell in the room but its not my job to clean it up.

If nothing else, I hope this gives you cause for thought.

Endure and Prevail

ADen

_________________________
I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.

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#319477 - 01/20/10 08:50 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: expom]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
ADen, bless you, and thank you with all my heart for sharing such a wise and compassionate spirit. (((((ADen)))))

ron

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


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#319490 - 01/20/10 10:28 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Sans Logos]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Aden, Mike, Donnie & Ron,

Hi. Brothers, I feel for you and hate that this happened to any of us. It totally sucks that we had to find each other this way but nevertheless, we're here and hopefully, healing.

I too struggled w/ wondering why God allowed me to be molested so many times. Like Aden, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't God that allowed it but the humans w/ the divine gift of freewill. They chose to commit acts of pure unadulterated evil w/ their freewill on all of us.

My dad was agnostic and probably more Pagan than anything else now and my mom was a secular Jew. How did I end up? Just send me a pm and I will tell you but suffice it to say that I believe in and draw strength from the Almighty.

Mike, you can be an atheist, at least in this country, but then you have to be able to answer where you get your morals from? If not God/Religion, then where? Food for contemplation.

As someone who's attracted to both women and men, I struggle w/ the fact that I am not in consort w/ my religious beliefs frequently.

One thing that helps me get by is that God would rather have me be righteous some of the time rather than none, pray often rather than sometimes, keep the other tenets of my faith always rather than often and just as important, continue improving as a man, husband, father, lover, friend and in helping others less fortunate than me.

That's the beauty of America, if you don't feel like you can stay where you are, there's so many places for atheists, agnostics and religious folks alike. Utah might not be the best fit for you but San Fran, NYC, Minneapolis & Seattle are good places for non-believers to congregate.

Whatever your path, spiritual or not, I hope it leads to a healing healthy life full of acceptance, love and friendship. We're here for you.

Jay

_________________________
My CSA story TRIGGERS!!!!

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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#319549 - 01/20/10 08:45 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: westsidej]
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: westsidej

Mike, you can be an atheist, at least in this country, but then you have to be able to answer where you get your morals from? If not God/Religion, then where? Food for contemplation.


This bothers me. Greatly. More than I can even begin to explain really. The idea that humans have to have some invisible friend/creator telling them what is right and moral is beyond insulting. I realize it wasn't intended this way, but there it is.

I guess the problem for me is that, growing up in what is essentially the buckle of the bible belt, there were no safe options. Every person views things their own way and rationalizes away what they do not like. Don't like that the bible says slavery is okay (Leviticus and Exodus, IIRC) then simply ignore it. The problem is that, for me at least, this just worsened the problems with an abusive family and CSA.

The one time I tried to tell someone about my CSA I was told that it was god's plan and I shouldn't let it worry me. This didn't help me in any reasonable way, shape, or form. I was 8 years old, I mean come on.

I'm sorry that this upsets me so much. I'm truly trying to understand, but I don't know how to get myself from where I am currently, to being able to be tolerant and accepting of religion in others. I don't see how I could ever accept it in myself as it would be the ultimate insult to myself if I did. The same friend who told me I was the most moral person he knew also told me I was doomed to hell because I'd had sex with another male (despite the fact that it was rape).

I guess I've just never been around anyone that I could call a 'good' christian.

So how do I overcome this? I really want to be able to work through this and be more open and more accepting. I'm just at a loss of how to do so.

Thanks for listening,
Mike


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#319561 - 01/20/10 10:43 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1372
Loc: kansas
.


Edited by Obi (05/03/13 05:56 PM)
_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#319584 - 01/21/10 01:48 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Obi]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Obi, thanks for posting. You backed me up better than I could do myself.

Mike, I tried to be as respectful as I could while posting but I sense some serious hostility to religion. That's your choice and I hope that you find peace, no matter what your destination.

My only point was that if you don't use religion for a moral compass, what do you use then? Seriously.

Take care and have a great week.

Jay

_________________________
My CSA story TRIGGERS!!!!

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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#319586 - 01/21/10 02:19 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: westsidej]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
.



Edited by Dewey2k (01/21/10 12:19 PM)

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#319587 - 01/21/10 02:19 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: westsidej]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
.



Edited by Dewey2k (01/21/10 12:19 PM)

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