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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
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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: 1338
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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#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
_________________________
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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#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: 281
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

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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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: 1135
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
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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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#319693 - 01/22/10 08:58 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Elad 12]
Obi Offline
Member
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1338
Loc: kansas
...


Edited by Obi (05/03/13 05:57 PM)
_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#319694 - 01/22/10 09:16 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Obi]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
the thread went south because the topic had not been properly identified by respondents as being the case of a gay man asking in the gay forum about others who had encountered similar difficulties relative to their non-traditional orientation in the area of religion.

mike was simply asking how others had reconciled their struggles in this realm. he was not looking to start a flame war. this has happened before: men post in the GBT forum looking for support from a non traditional sexually oriented perspective, and all kinds of unrelated posts bomb the topic, derailing the original intent. it can be frustrating.

it is important when people respond to a post, they try to explore the background of the person they are responding to, and reflect prior to posting whether their perspective is going to be helpful, or disconcerting.

learning how to give helpful feedback is a process, and we've all made made mistakes as we learn the 'how to' of support networking. it is just something to be aware of.

just some more thoughts on the topic,

ron

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


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#319742 - 01/22/10 04:47 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Sans Logos]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Howdy brothers,

Thanks for all of the replies to this thread & subsequent notes. They have been passionate, informative and in the end, trying to help Mike out with a stumbling block on the road to recovery.

I agree w/ Ron's last post that Mike's looking for answers to life (Who isn't?) and we need to focus on that. Towards that end, we all agree w/ and support Mike.

However, certain replies written by other brothers have not only bothered me but made me realize that I should try to clarify my previous post along w/ trying to bring us together on such a divergent topic. To wit:

If you notice from my last post, I NEVER use words like always, only, everytime, all, none or other words that leave no room for exceptions or discussion. Why? Because outside of some Math, there's always exceptions or conditions that disprove a theory.

I.E.
Quote:
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.

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.


If I wanted to, I could go to another thread that I just read w/ even more hurtful, while hopefully unintended, comments about Christianity that demand a response.

Why does it seem okay for anyone, ms.org or elsewhere, to suggest separating Christians from non-Christians? That's really mean, shameful and hurtful on so many levels I will not discuss this here on Mike's post.

If it's okay to pick on, separate and insult Christians here as some have in this very thread, then why not Gays, Jews, Blacks or Buddhists?

Mike, I hope that you are able to heal and either trust religious folks in the future or at least learn to do no harm to them in any form, verbal or otherwise.

Good luck to you and everyone else.

Jay
Defender of many faiths, including his own.

_________________________
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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#319801 - 01/23/10 01:58 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: westsidej]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
I apologize. I should have said that "many or most born again Christians......" I was just caught up in the moment. My whole life I have heard the same thing over and over and I guess I have built up a low tolerance level to it. I really don't want this to turn negative so I will apologize to anyone I may have offended. I usually know better then to even peruse this forum.
Sincerely

Dale


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#319808 - 01/23/10 06:37 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Elad 12]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1135
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Dale,

I apologize for reacting too quickly myself. Somehow I read into your post that Christians don't belong in the Spirituality forum, which you did not say. Sorry man.

Jim

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

My Story

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#319822 - 01/23/10 09:45 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Jim1961]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

The best part of this experience for me are the PM's you & I are having, so something good has come out of this exchange.

Dale


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#319927 - 01/24/10 11:00 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Elad 12]
many_mees Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 286
Guys,
I have to admit that there are many good and valuable points in this thread. Some of them I find offensive and some I find utterly ridiculous, and some I find extremely helpful in working my way through my faith walk; whatever that walk may mean to you.

I have been a "Christian" for 29 years and only now at this time in my life am I beginning to understand my faith and what it has and hasn't done for me. I have found my faith to be both a moral compass and a huge stumbling block as I work through all the damage that sexual, emotional and physical abuse has left for me to clean up.

When I arrived here, I was in turmoil about my sexual preferences and how I could continue to justify my Christian walk and accept who and what I have become. After much reading and learning what it would take to move on, I was able to make that jump to a new level of understanding which freed me to explore other issues that has blocked my recovery from the beginning. I would not have been able to make that leap were it not for the input of you brothers here at MS.

I am learning to be more tolerant of another's faith or lack thereof and less tolerant of those who would slam anyones faith for any reason. It is abhorent that those who espouse tolerance are the first to attack that which they do not or would not understand out of shear ignorance. That kind of intolerance I will stand up against. It has no place in the arena of ideas.

Yes, that sounds intolerant in and of itself, and perhaps it is. But before I or anyone can be judged, others need to get to know why we think the way we do and what it took to get here. Just being mean is not a valid excuse to hurt another person by ridiculing or demonizing their faith walk. Being open to new ideas is by far more productive and less divisive as we work to better ourselves and work through our recovery.

Separating out those who think differently, Christians from non-Christians, smacks of fascism and bigotry. To create another room for two points of view, why not a room for each faith? How many forums does MS need? Certainly not hundreds, otherwise we would lose the meaning of "forum" in an attempt to quell any disagreements due to differing opinions. That is ludicrous.

Suffice to say, we each have differing ways to reach the end goal we came here to work on; our recovery. Lets not cloud this reason with meaningless, irrelevant and irreverent posts over who and what is right or wrong. It serves no purpose but to destroy. Instead, can't we use this place to come to an understanding of our different walks as it pertains to our healing and recovery? Surely we can gleen some value from our brothers that we can use to better our own lives. Can't we?

Thanks for the thread and the willingness to hear and be heard.


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#319952 - 01/24/10 02:57 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: many_mees]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
brilliant sam!

it's really that simple: live and let live!

....now getting there....that's a whole nother story whistle

all the best,

ron

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


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#319971 - 01/24/10 04:59 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Sans Logos]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
I have written & deleted several posts today. Bottom line of what comes up in each is that as someone who was abused spiritually as well as sexually as a child....righteousness feels very very abusive

enough said on my part


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#319973 - 01/24/10 05:25 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Elad 12]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: Elad 12
righteousness feels very very abusive


It is so terrible that even "loving C..." (can't even say the word now for fear of abuse) are hateful.

Dale - I hear your pain.

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#319979 - 01/24/10 06:38 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: DJsport]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I hear your pain too Dale, Mike, and Anonymous. I too was a victim of an extremist fundamentalist faith-healing religion, most of my first 7 abusers were from that religion, a religion that today only has 100K members worldwide. My own mother let a deranged Vietnam-era Marine stay with me for two weeks while my folks were out of town in the Summer of 1972 when I was age 14, just because he had been brought-up in our church. A few weeks later she beat me up really badly because I had accused this guy of abusing me, because he was from our church, hence I had to be lying, because people from "our" church do not do those kinds of things. My own mother also refused to allow a doctor to set my broken leg when I was age 12 for 3 days, claiming her right to religious freedom, then wouldn't allow an ER doctor to use a pain injection to rebreak my leg, also exerting her legally-protected religious freedom allegedly to protect me from the medical community, which her church is at odds with.

I could go on and on. Needless to say, neither my sisters or me ever got any medical care for anything, nor any therapy for our victimization, when we were in our time of need. Then we had to find-out the hard way about the medical community as each of us struggled to overcome our lack of trust issues brought about by our victimization as kids. All three of us have managed to break our ties with my mom's cult, but none of us have managed to recover any belief in religion as a result. Our mother is a widely-respected Christian Science Practitioner and Teacher with a cadre of ultra-devoted followers willing to die for her. My dad died because he refused to seek medical help, as did several other of my relatives.

Am I attacking religion? Yes, I am attacking my mother's religion, from which most of my victimization occurred. Our ancestors allegedly came to this country for religious freedom. What I want is freedom FROM religion. Unless you are from my mother's church, I am not out to disparage your religious beliefs. You have to understand my perspective too, and understand how many times I was forced to suffer for my mother's legally-protected religious beliefs. I have moved into a position of freedom in my recovery, freedom from my mother's religion is a part of that. After she is gone likely I will become an outspoken critic of religious freedom legislation, my sisters too. There is no reason for children to have to suffer like my sisters and I were forced to suffer, just because of our parent's religious addiction.

Again, not to disparage anyone's else's religious beliefs, some of my best friends are highly religious people too. For whatever reason, I am one of these people that will stick-up for the rights of the minority members of our society, those who have trouble with religion too.

I'll leave you now with a song that I found on YouTube for Lynchmob. I think that its message applies here too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpfj_pmv3W8

To each his own, as long as you don't step on my toes.

Mark

Denver has a number of churches, yet our society here is also quite tolerant of other people and their rights too.


_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#320008 - 01/24/10 09:33 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Trucker51]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Trucker,

Its amazing what society puts up with in the name of religious freedom. Some of these cults are more evil than child molesters but people leave them alone because they're "religions."



Edited by Anonymous (01/25/10 12:15 AM)

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#320073 - 01/25/10 03:47 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: InsideTheWall]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Back when the US was more of a religious country than it is now, and this religion (and other similar fringe religions) were better-attended and had more money to throw around, they were able to get legislation passed at the State and Federal level exempting their members from certain medical practices that most Americans take for granted. In some States children of this faith are exempted from having to take immunizations, for instance. In many States, a parent of this religion can legally refuse emergency medical assistance for their injured child. More recently, there have been successful prosecutions where a parent neglected their own children to death, several of these cases were where parents refused to give their children insulin, instead relying on faith-healing, unsuccessfully, for instance. Over the last decade, a number of States have withdrawn the religious freedom exemptions that this religion had at one time enjoyed all across the country, yet there are still a majority of States where parents are allowed to deny their children medical care on religious freedom grounds, no matter how far out in dreamland the particular religion is.

My ancestors were all either Lutheran or Episcopalian, but it has been 4 generations now since both sides of my family got shanghaied into this cult religion, which did not even exist before the late 1800s. There is such a thing as a victim of childhood sexual abuse loosing their belief in God or a higher power, I am one of them, my sisters are too. Thankfully the scourge of this cult ends with my generation in my family. Whether or not I recover any religious beliefs is yet a matter of conjecture. Like everyone else, I should have the freedom to believe whatever I want to believe, and I should have the right to speak my beliefs without getting attacked for my beliefs too.

Hopefully we are all mature enough to take a step back from the precipice and offer an olive branch to those that we may have offended. Let's try to remember what our primary focus here is. We are here working together to try to find our freedom from what was done to us as children.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#320721 - 01/30/10 01:21 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Trucker51]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Reading this thread and trying to understand what actually happened is very difficult with what seems like very significant redactions of previous posts.

What I can glean from what remains is this - one person's saving grace can be another person's trigger and torment.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#320725 - 01/30/10 02:25 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
well put mark. all i can say in response is 'such is a bad hair day in the life of malesurvivor'. whistle

ron

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


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#320869 - 02/01/10 05:45 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Ever-fixed Mark
Reading this thread and trying to understand what actually happened is very difficult with what seems like very significant redactions of previous posts.

What I can glean from what remains is this - one person's saving grace can be another person's trigger and torment.

-efm


That's where I came into this thread, I've no idea what Dewey said so can't comment. I was brought up Methodist, the CSA incident happened in an Anglican primary school. Take a guess which denomination I can't be bothered with to this day, and that's just two branches of the same faith. If I was ever going to practice religion again, I'd return to the Methodists, but I moved churches twice as a child, so after all the chopping and changing, I'd have to get to the right place in healing to go through Door Number 3 back to where I started.

I keep the Bible and my personal dislike of someone completely separate, once someone manifestly proves to me that they're an idiot (or my pet hate, a gossip), I wouldn't check my Bible for a passage that gave me divine licence to dislike them without seeing them up close first. I'd have stopped bothering with that person in general because life's too short.



Edited by ComicBookGuy (02/01/10 05:48 AM)
_________________________
- CBG

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#321158 - 02/04/10 05:29 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: ComicBookGuy]
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
Everyone,

I am only able to respond here thanks to Ron (San Logos) sending me a PM. Unfortunately once the thread was moved I was unable to get to it. I am terribly uncomfortable going to the religious area due to my own personal issues, which I am trying to get help with.

Let me give more background and maybe this will help. No, my CSA was not by a church member. But the one person I was able to tell was a church member who told me to "deal with it". He was the pastor. My little brother happens to be flamboyantly gay and I saw every form of verbal/physical abuse dished out to him by nearly every single member of THREE very large churches. It was not just the kids either - the adults were far worse and far more cruel about it.

I can honestly say that in MY personal experience I have never had a religious person do anything but belittle or attack me - sometimes physically - for being different.

What I am trying to do is figure out how do I work through this? For some reason, the few I have asked always try to preach to me (being gay is choice, you're going to hell, blah blah blah) rather then giving advice that might help.

Ron was right - I posted this request in the LGBT forums for a specific reason. I needed advice from others who have had to work through similar issues and trust me, the LGBT people have HAD to.

I realize now that religion is simply too contentious a topic to get help from on here. I won't be checking this thread anymore since it's been moved but I felt that an explanation was in order. I now know that I will not be likely to find any help on this topic here and I find that truly sad because it seems I am unwelcome in some way or another every place I go. I AM thankful for those who have tried to be reasonable and bring the discussion around.

Mike


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#321502 - 02/09/10 01:17 AM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Joren]
michael banks Offline


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

One of the most freeing things that I was ever taught was as a member of AA. The most important thing I can know about God is that I am not him and either are you.

My relationship with God,higher power or whatever term you care to apply to him is nobodies business but my own. If we each choose to concentration on our own sins and coming to an understanding why we have learned to behave so. We would be too busy to be focusing on others and their minor defects of character. If we would keep our own sides of the street clean we would all be much happier.

I am a believer that Jesus is "MY" lord and savior but I don't feel the need to force this on others who don't see things that way. This is one Christian that rarely sets his foot inside of a church because of the bigotry and hatefulness that I see express towards my fellow brother.

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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#321748 - 02/10/10 08:33 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: Dewey2k]
wasfred Offline


Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Utah
I am most likely agnostic, I suppose I enjoy the ambiguity of that. However, why does morality have to come something or someone? My morality has always been internal, innate. I was rasied mormon (agree with the Utah comment above), but argued "religion" non-stop with my parents from age 12 until I left that religion in my 20's. It took me years to discover that spirituality is not dependent on religion. I am not sure how that plays with being a surviver. I have met men that their religion truly helped them in surviving. I have met men that religion was a terrible hinderance to their survival. I suppose in the end it is what works for each individual no matter where it is found, and we all need to respect spirituality no matter where it comes from--internal or external. Mike, why do you have to justify to anyone where you get your morals? That type of logic upsets me as well. There are plenty immoral "theists" and immoral "atheists", I was abused by both for example. A good person is a good person no matter what they believe. That should be good enough for anyone Mike.

I hope you the best,

KJP


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#321758 - 02/10/10 09:46 PM Re: Healing and Religion [Re: wasfred]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
Well said KJP. Thanks!


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