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#319594 - 01/21/10 04:45 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Dewey2k]
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
I think while reading this I begin to understand what is really bothering me. There's two things really.

I'm inherently someone who focuses almost exclusively on logic. It's all that has saved my life on many occasions. But when asking for help in learning to deal with religion in general, the answer from religious individuals usually involve religious terminology and concepts which do not apply to me. It's like asking a question about A and getting an answer about B.

The second one is the one I don't know how to handle. Simply due to my own experiences, what I perceive as argumentative behavior (i.e. loud voices even not aimed at me) shut me down and I want to bury myself in a hole and hide. Unfortunately talk of religion is extremely difficult for me. It causes me to shut down like this. I'm fighting right now to write this and try to not just run and leave MS for several months (until I've forgotten). It's not that you've upset me particularly or anything, it's that I'm overly sensitized to this sort of thing.

Sorry if I reacted out of fear more than logic. It's a difficult line to walk for me still. I struggle with it frequently anymore - but I'm told things have to get worse before they get better.

Mike


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#319602 - 01/21/10 08:13 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
I think your reaction is normal.
I developed an internal way of understanding things but can't verbalize them very often.
I'm trying to identify with you. I want you to know that reacting by wanting to shut down is normal for us. As you gain strength and become more and more able to look at what is bringing up this fear,(often the fear makes no sense because what is happening is not fearful) it will get easier to see this. For me it is mainly confusion and that removes my ability to reason so I am stuck unable to cogitate a response in real time which = shutdown.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#319603 - 01/21/10 08:15 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
mike, you're getting to the heart of the matter and this is a great thing. you are focusing on your feelings here, and this will lead to a greater understanding of the issues that puppet you from beneath the surface around the topic of religion.

people who hold strong religious convictions, which reflect a personal/communal value system, will understandably want to defend their perspective, because the ego fears to lose its sense of self esteem and self identity when it feels the threat of attack, and will react in self defense by lashing out or running away [or freezing].

this conversation has the propensity to turn into a dialogue inspired by emotive reaction to the topic at hand, with the subtext being more about feeling attacked at the core of one's self-image and self esteem. i know that's not what you were intending. it seems that you are interested in using this opportunity not to prove who's right and who's wrong, but rather to understand why others feel and think about the subject the way they do.

so, once again, you are displaying moral sensibility, yet not getting caught up in the centrifugal force of triggered emotions. continue to stand your ground and don't run off in a panic.

this is a golden opportunity for us to explore what is really going on inside when threatened by a discussion of this topic, and to ask ourselves why we feel a need to insist on pointing out how wrong the other opinion, in order to feel more secure about one's personal belief system.

maybe all of us can use this as an opportunity to take on a more inquisitive and non-judgmental approach, leading us to grater understanding of the others' point of view, without necessarily trying to convert them to ours.

when it comes right down to it, i don't want to be you, you don't want to be me ..... we just want to learn to live comfortably in our own skin, and at peace with our own deeper questions, while attempting to maintain some degree of equilibrium and self-accountability as the inner journey continues to unfold.

all the best,

ron

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


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#319614 - 01/21/10 11:18 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Sans Logos]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Hi Mike & all. I feel this should be moved to open forum since it's already started to get very personal and, in some cases, a little heated. Seulement moi deux centimes.

I wasn't going to respond further but after reading a few more of the posts, I felt the need to correct what I feel are inaccuracies or possibly a confused statement.

Quote:
people who hold strong religious convictions, which reflect a personal/communal value system, will understandably want to defend their perspective, because the ego fears to lose its sense of self esteem and self identity when it feels the threat of attack, and will react in self defense by lashing out or running away [or freezing].


Ron, I think the first part of this is the normal response of the religious man/woman. I agree w/ you in that the average Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist et al will defend their perspective using their respective holy books and teachings. I should very well hope so. However, the second part doesn't really apply to the religious adherents among us.

Where I disagree strongly is w/ the lashing out or self defense part of your post. This is the normal response from the very intolerant, yes I said it, atheists and agnostics.

I.E.
Don't push your religious views on me.
The Bible was written by some old dead guys in a smoke (Frankincense?) filled room, not by the hand of God.
Manger scenes or Menorahs in the town square offend me.
The ten commandments don't belong in a public park.
A cross, crescent or star of David on a veteran's memorial has no place being there. But a wiccan star's okay?
Our US Constitution guarantees separation of church and state.
Keep your religious laws off my body.
[b/]

That's enough to prove my point. It's the total lack of tolerance by those who are not religious that often shuts down debate and genuine discussion on topics such as religion or the absence thereof.

Then, religious skeptics ALMOST always bring up some story of how they were treated poorly by a member of the religious community as justification for their hatred or religiophobia. [b]This is stereotyping and is almost never justified. I've met mean atheists and nice Jews. Does that mean all atheists are bad and all Jews good? Of course not!


Notice, far too many non-believers never mention the scores of devout religious people who have helped them in life or the atheists/agnostics who may have done them harm. There's both in all of our lives.

Personally, I don't care if you believe in Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Brigham or Baab or none of the above, that's your choice. However, let's be civil to those who do believe and have sought help (CSA anyone?) and guidance through a belief in God, whatever name they wish to assign.

I've studied Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Greek, Roman, Celtic & other pagan religions and feel comfortable debating and discussing them rationally and intelligently. Heck, I will even defend classical Islam. Sorry, I don't just get offended that easily so go ahead and challenge me.

However, this may not be the best forum for this conversation. I'd be happy to continue it in the open forum section, unless everyone agrees to continue it here, which is fine by me.

We may agree or end up agreeing to disagree. So long as we're all civil, let's rock.

Jay




Edited by westsidej (01/21/10 11:50 AM)
Edit Reason: typos
_________________________
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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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#319618 - 01/21/10 12:35 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: westsidej]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Quote:
This is the normal response from the very intolerant


jay, i believe it to be 'normal' response by anyone who feels moved to reply. whether they agree or disagree it matters not, because an urgency to respond [out of negative emotion] is likely a veiled attempt to recover a sense of loss or reduction of personal identity that tends to occur as an undercurrent when someone feels emotionally affronted, feeling their personal integrity to be in question.

also, isn't it stereotyping atheists and agnostics to fleece them all with the the frock of 'intolerance'? i'm wondering if that is what you meant?

i think it important return to mike's original question:

Quote:
...... the hurt and insecurities arise from the depths of my personality with the mention of "church" or "god" .......

How have you all dealt with these situations?


i don't think the question asks us to defend our perspectives, but, rather, is asking how individuals have dealt with their own emotions when triggered by topics of church and god. i would think that people not experiencing the conflict, would avoid making a response such that would only flame the topic, not leading to greater enlightenment on the variety of ways that survivors here have been wounded by such institutions and ideologies, and in doing so help us strengthen bonds of understanding with each other.

one thing i do know for sure, is that if a brother is saying [as mike seems to be ] that the direction of the conversation is inadvertently causing his own self-defense mechanisms to kick in, then perhaps we all need to step back from the situation, and remember, someone started out innocently asking for insight from others. i think all of us need be careful not to bring our own personal struggles into this discussion, but perhaps, if triggered by it, start a fresh one in the appropriate forum that speaks about one's particular feelings and thoughts about it.

let's use this as an opportunity to remain open to exploring our own personal biases, relative to the discussion at hand, and try to build up each other in the process.

just some thoughts there,

ron



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


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#319628 - 01/21/10 04:47 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Sans Logos]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 289
Hi Joren,

You're not the only atheist here, don't worry about that. Did religion have something to do with your trauma or do you just consider it repressive?


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#319630 - 01/21/10 05:04 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: Joren
I'm fighting right now to write this and try to not just run and leave MS for several months (until I've forgotten). It's not that you've upset me particularly or anything, it's that I'm overly sensitized to this sort of thing.


Joren,

Please don't leave on account of this "discussion". Your value to this site and this discussion is very much needed.

Yes, it is uncomfortable. Your finding your voice. As stated above there are others here who are "athiests, agnostics, christians, etc". I was a minister at one time.

You get to have your own voice and beliefs.

Peace,
Donnie



Edited by DJsport (01/21/10 05:05 PM)
_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

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#319648 - 01/21/10 08:51 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: DJsport]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
Joren,

I don't, in fact I believe I have never posted in this forum. I know better then to invite an attack but I can't help myself today for some reason. I want you to know that I understand what you are saying. I was raised in a very religious home and have grown to not believe all that I was taught. I can tell you just how you felt when you read responses such as Obi's (sorry Obi) because I felt the same way. Born again Christians don't get it that their beliefs are not the only way to believe or that there are other ways to think and believe about life. There are thousands of spiritual or none spiritual paths out there and we all find ours. Having to read something like

"God loves you so much that he sent his son to die a terrible death for all of our sins. through the blood of Christ our souls are washed as white as snow."

just makes me cringe. I mean I'm sure people believe that and it may even be true for some people. It doesn't mean it is true for everyone. It's not truth for me. It is not truth for the many people whose cultures are destroyed by missionaries around the world and it my not be true for you.

I think the Spirituality and Survivor Forum should be called Christians and Survivors. I never find much Spirituality there.

Dale


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#319658 - 01/21/10 11:06 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Elad 12]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1156
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
I rarely bring up religious issues here at MS because the attacks are merciless. Just please remember before slamming ANY religion that there are likely Survivors (maybe even your own Brothers) whose lives have been undoubtedly SAVED by their FAITH.

Thank You.

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#319683 - 01/22/10 01:57 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Jim1961]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
I am truly happy for anyone whose life has been saved by their faith. I really am but I am also mindful of those whose lives have been damaged by that same faith, which I think is the message I am trying to put out there, that just because someone is very excited about what their faith means to them does not mean it is for everyone and I think too many people think that way. When someone asks questions such as Joren did, he was not asking to be preached to about Jesus terrible death and the blood of Christ or that he be given the impression that he couldn't have morals accept from God or religion but that is what people get from this forum. I do think that most posters to this forum consider Christianity the only form of Spirituality which is why maybe there should be 2 different forums, one geared toward Christians and one geared toward everyone else.


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