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#320062 - 01/25/10 02:41 AM Our similarities outweigh our differences
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I feel, & the moderators agreed, that several of the past threads on spirituality have spiraled out of control & hurt many of us here on either side of the religious debate.

Many of us, myself included, deserve blame for letting it get out of hand and so for my role, I apologize to any of you who felt personally attacked by my posts.

Indeed, I have seen even more posts today that could easily come across and mean or un-necessarily hurtful towards religion. Iíve havenít seen many of the posts that offend atheists but since I heard about them from reliable sources whom I trust (you all know how hard that is), I believe they exist/did exist & were removed by the moderator.


Now, moving forward, I will apply lessons learned from therapy which I hope will also assist many of you as well.

Quote:
Many members here on ms.org are Christians on one denomination or another& feel strongly about their faith, as they very well should.

Scores of other members are agnostics or outright atheists, whether due to CSA or other factors in their lives.


Honestly, I thought about never posting on here again but that would set me back on so many levels. Iíve been running & avoiding things, both mental & physical, for decades due to my CSA & itís time to stop. My therapist has given me the strength & courage to hang in there during tough situations and not just shutdown or run away. Thatís how I found ms.org & all of you.

Now, I want to give back to those of you looking for a venue in which to safely and openly discuss your religious beliefs, or non-belief, in terms of recovery, healing or if they have hindered or made the process more difficult.

As one of the only Jews, I think, on ms.org, I am neither Christian nor agnostic/atheist. My hope is that I can act as a bridge & mediator when both sides have conflicting points. I know that itís said often, but weíre here to heal.

I only have a few requests I strongly urge, but donít demand, you comply w/ before posting, please.

1. If Christian, please be mindful that not all of us are of your faith so please make sure to include biblical references and try to present your topics in more of a college course handout rather than order of service.
2. If Atheist, or agnostic, please be aware that many of us are religious and have just as much a right to talk about and defend our faith as you have the right to be godless.
3. I will constantly monitor as well & be vigilant for any signs of harassment, intimidation or dismissing of anotherís point just because they are/arenít religious enough for your taste.
4. I strongly encourage anyone who wants to speak about something controversial to either run it by me first in a pm or simply pm the person w/ whom you have a disagreement and try to work it out off-line. (This also has the added benefit of allowing us to learn more about our other brothers)

I will defend anyone who asks or feel is being assaulted because of their religious beliefs as well as those who have have no beliefs as at all.


I love you guys and canít thank you enough for all of the support & assistance I have received since joining last year. So, maybe I should go first to break the ice.

Have a great week!!

Jay
Minnesota




Edited by westsidej (01/25/10 03:24 AM)
_________________________
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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#320068 - 01/25/10 03:20 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: westsidej]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
I grew up in an abusive home, mentally & of course sexually.
My mom was a non-practicing Jew & my father, who was almost always working, was an agnostic on a good day. (I found out in my late 20's that his father was also Jewish but since my dad was a bastard child, that's all I knew about my grandfather.)

For some reason, my friends & I always ended up at the local Catholic church, whether for Boy Scouts or the youth center for skating (yes, I am dating myself) I didn't have any problems going there or w/ anyone trying to convert me to worship the trinity.

When, I got the f out of this situation by joining the Navy @ 18, I left behind not just my family but any notion of religion as well. I tried attending the worship services on base and was invited to some w/ my fellow sailors but they didn't really fill my spiritual needs. I knew that I was Jewish by ethnicity but that was it. I defended practicing Jews even back then who were picked on by other sailors for being "kikes or Christ killers". (I was even told one time by another sailor that my grandparents should have been burned or gassed by the Nazis) Don't know how I didn't end up in Leavenworth.

I sort of wandered looking for the right, or any faith but due to my experiences in Catholic churches growing up, I at least felt comfortable inside a cathedral. I knew that Islam wasn't for me and the same held true for Mormonism, even though I ultra-respect the followers of Brigham & Joseph.

Many Jews didn't accept me since it was only my grandfather's that were Jewish, not my grandmothers.

So, here's Jay out in the world trying to survive csa & child neglect, guilt, homosexual tendencies & no friends due to my trust issues w/out a spiritual home as well.

Then, I met my wife who was a Unitarian Universalist. I had no idea about them or what they believed but my then girlfriend told me that there are elements of Judaism, Christianity & other traditions honored in her church. Of course, she neglected to say that there were also pagans, wiccans, atheists, Buddhists and others who also called themselves UU's.

Honestly, it's way too liberal of a faith for me but since it allows me to practice my Jewish traditions (which I have always been drawn to since my mom was at least Jewish in some respects and wore a star of David necklace), I support it. I also go to a reform Jewish congregation as well here in the Twin Cities when time permits. This is my true religious home but since we have kids, if you have two religions in the house, you have none.

Along w/ my therapist & wife, rediscovering my Jewish faith and ancestry (had family in Nazi camps who survived but some in Russia who did not) has finally allowed me to not only make peace w/ my molesters but also allow me to heal and feel better about myself than I have in my entire life.

So, that's how religion has been a positive force in my life.

I look forward to your replies.

_________________________
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.

Top
#320069 - 01/25/10 03:26 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: westsidej]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I missed yesterday's fracas, got in on the tail end of it when I talked to Todd/Obi on Sunday afternoon. As you may or may not yet know, I will stand with the non-religious crowd as well as with any minority crowd here that is feeling ostracized. Our primary mission here is to find our freedom from what happened to us when we were kids. Some of us may find our freedom through our religious beliefs, some of us may find religion in search of our freedom, and some of us may need to try to find our freedom without help from the religious community too. I grew-up in Detroit and Cleveland, and have many Jewish friends, many Black friends too, and like the members of all races, ethnic groups, and other minority groups, there are those people from each community that I have tried to get along with without success too. If we could try a lot harder to remember to respect each other as people and remember to respect each other's rights, I'm sure that episodes like what occurred yesterday wouldn't happen nearly as often.

Just my two cents,

Mark

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



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#320072 - 01/25/10 03:36 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: Trucker51]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Mark,

Hi. How are you? Thanks for your post. I'm actually have a job opportunity out in Grand Junction. Can you tell me anything about GJ or Montrose? You may think I am nuts but I love Detroit & Northern Ohio along w/ NE Indiana. Great history, food, museums & state parks.

I've read several of your posts and yes, I see where you come down. Like you, I will not remain silent if I see someone or a group trying to put down another because they don't agree with their beliefs. As a Jew, I know all too well how that ends up when taken to its logical ends.

I wish it was just yesterday that this was an issue. It's been going on for days in several posts. I actually asked to have my last one deleted since I was sick of it myself.

Seriously, Mark, I just want a forum where Jews, Gentiles & Agnostics can feel comfortable posting w/out insulting each other or being insulted. Hence, this post to remind us, as you said, that we're all brothers & here to heal.

Take care and thanks for posting & for the info on the Western Slope.

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.

Top
#320078 - 01/25/10 05:00 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: westsidej]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Let's see:

Grand Junction is the largest urban area on Colorado's west slope, it has a population of maybe 75,000. Colorado's west slope tends toward more conservative politics than does the Denver-area. Both the Grand Junction and Montrose airports have commuter-type flights to nearby major airline hubs. Delta has a hub in Salt Lake City, United and Frontier have hubs in Denver, as does Southwest, and Southwest and US Airways have hubs in both Las Vegas and Phoenix. The Eagle County Airport has major airline flights to a number of destinations, it is Colorado's 3rd busiest airport in terms of passengers, and is 110 miles east of Grand Junction on I-70.

Grand Junction has the Colorado National Monument nearby, and the Colorado River flows through town too. There is high-end golf nearby, Redlands Mesa is in Grand Junction, Colorado National Golf Club is in nearby Fruita, CO, Devils Thumb is in Delta, CO, and there are a couple of high-end courses in Montrose. Lakota Canyon GC is in New Castle, 70 miles east of Grand Junction, and there are a couple of courses in Rifle too. Grand Junction has one local ski area, Powderhorn Mtn, with 1600 feet vertical drop, up on Grand Mesa east of Grand Jct. There are large table mesas that exceed 10,000 feet elevation east, north, and south of town. The climate in Grand Junction is drier and hotter than it is in Denver, with Summer highs averaging in the high 90s and low 100s not uncommon, though average humidity there will be in the 20% to 40% range. Grand Junction is less than 4 hours by car from Denver, 2 hours by car from Vail and Beaver Creek resorts, and a similar distance from Aspen and Telluride. It is about 8 hours from Las Vegas, or 6 & 1/2 hours from Mesquite, NV too. You can get to Salt Lake City in 5 & 1/2 hours too.

There is a large shopping mall on the west side of town on US 50, and that area is surrounded by industrial and warehousing property too. City Market is a Kroger affiliate which is based in Grand Junction and has a large DC there. Coors Ceramics also has a large plant there. East of Grand Junction is the center of Colorado's peach industry. Moab, Utah, popular with the 4WD and mountain bike crowds, is less than 2 hours away by car. There is some newer subdivision-type housing both southeast and west of town. The Grand Junction airport is north of town right along I-70.

The downtown areas of both Grand Junction and Montrose contain many historic renovated buildings. Delta is a smaller and grittier farming and industrial town between Grand Junction and Montrose. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River is east of Montrose, which is a really scenic canyon. The Blue Mesa Reservoir is one of Colorado's largest lakes, and it is east of Montrose on the way to Gunnison and Crested Butte. South of Montrose and Ouray is the Animas Forks Basin, which was an area heavily mined for gold and silver 100 years ago, and the entire area is filled with mining ruins and ghost towns, and is quite popular with the 4WD and mountain bike crowds too.

I've driven a semi to Grand Junction, Delta, and Montrose plenty of times. Good luck with your new job.

Mark

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



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#320093 - 01/25/10 09:13 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: Trucker51]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Jay,

I am a Christian pure and simple. I was raised Catholic but became a born again christian in high school. I have never renounced the Catholic faith because I don't see the conflict, both worship Jesus. As to the Jewish faith, I constantly remind my fellow Christians that we are members of a Jewish Sect. Check your New Testament and Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. The Messiah is a Jewish concept cloaked within the Jewish faith. Anti-Semetic christians hate themselves. Ask a fundamentalist muslim brothers, he will tell you he considers you a Jew. Also, if you read the accounts of Jesus, he never missed an opportunity to speak cordially with members of any faith. I am not intimidated by other beliefs. I am convinced of the truth of my own. It is those with doubts that must attack those that doubt. Being confident that God is who He is, you or I believing or not believing will not change that.

To other faiths, what harm is someone believing to you? Honestly, I have heard it said look at all the wars religion has caused. However, I will say religion in that aspect has mostly been misused as a political pawn for wars between ethnic groups. Example: Ireland...that is not really a religious war, it is between native Irish who are Catholic and English colonists who are protestants. Take the time to know and understand those who are different and please don't be offended simply because one acts as if there beliefs are true. It is not meant to oppress you.

_________________________
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.

Top
#320101 - 01/25/10 10:42 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: catfish86]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
Just want to give thanks to Mark & Catfish for these words:

Quote:
If we could try a lot harder to remember to respect each other as people and remember to respect each other's rights, I'm sure that episodes like what occurred yesterday wouldn't happen nearly as often.

Take the time to know and understand those who are different and please don't be offended simply because one acts as if their beliefs are true. It is not meant to oppress you.


Please keep up the great posts. I feel better already & hope this thread continues attracting thoughtful bon mots on both sides of the issue.

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.

Top
#320111 - 01/25/10 11:46 AM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: DJsport]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
It is true that we are literally dealing with people from all over the world with different cultures. That even goes beyond religion. A gentleman from the UK who is a wonderful and helpful member of this site and I exchanged views about guns. Americans, as Barrack Obama put it, cling to guns and their religion. Many in the UK do not. That is fine. His remarks still had merit in that someone could have taken my comments to mean get a gun and shoot the perp. That is not a healthy thing for a lot of reasons and it gave me the opportunity to clarify that being prudent about your personal safety, by whatever means used, is a good idea.

_________________________
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.

Top
#320125 - 01/25/10 03:14 PM Re: Our similarities outweigh our differences [Re: DJsport]
westsidej Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 150
Loc: Minnesota
All,

I have forgiven everyone here as well who posted previously and offended me and others, bar none.

Let's return the focus to healing and recovery along w/ respectful discussions where we can agree and agree to disagree.



Jay





Edited by westsidej (01/26/10 11:29 AM)
Edit Reason: Keeping it positive
_________________________
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.

Top


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