I think one of the misunderstandings here is that many non-believers seem to think that a believer’s faith is something optional that can be “worn” or not like an accessory. As if – when you know that someone hates hats – you can just not put one on when you are going to be around them. In reality, those of us who are trying to be followers of Jesus rather than a member of a religion, consider our faith to be not only a core value – but part of our hearts and souls and the deepest part of our identities.
For me to deny or divorce or hide or ignore that part of myself would be like attempting to erase huge chunks of my life history and memories and emotions. It is not something that I can do. It is not something I should be expected or asked to do. It is not something that I would ever ask of another survivor. And I don’t think that all my interactions should be relegated and limited to this spirituality forum as if it is a ghetto for my particular minority that I dare not set foot outside.
I know that religions and churches and religious people are often guilty of abuse and mention of them can cause triggers. I was abused by a very religious step-dad. And I was emotionally and verbally and financially and spiritually abused by a religious cult that I was in for 7 years. But I do not blame all religious people for the suffering I endured or expect no one to ever mention such things in my presence.
Some of my worst abuse was at the hands of the step-dad and took place in the family home. I do not expect everyone to censor all mention of families or step-parents or homes from their conversations.
More of my abuse was perpetrated by athletes and scouts at school and camp-outs. Again – I am careful in reading about such scenarios and am prepared for triggers – but I don’t insist on such themes and topics being edited from the forums for my comfort.
One perp in my history was a gay man – I do not lash out at every gay man because of that. Nor do I accuse gays on the forum to be an exclusive clique. They are obviously a sub-category – but so what? so are left-handed people, members of the Republican party, red-haired people, those who are allergic to peanuts, and those who hate tomatoes.
I think you are being hyper-sensitive and taking your own issues out on a small minority. Why does “blessing” even have to be an issue? Take it to mean “best wishes” – which I think is what is really intended. And if you can’t separate the word from a religious context, consider it to be meaningless – since you don’t believe in a deity anyway.
I agree that no one should “push” or “force” their religion on others – and I hope I have never done anything that could be construed in that way – I consciously attempt to reserve discussion of my faith for this forum – unless some passing mention is so integral a part of a bigger story’s context that it would be dishonest to leave it out. but what you have described is far from proselytizing or insisting that everyone accept or believe the same way .
I do not mean to be confrontational or argumentative or disrespectful of your views. But I hope you will consider that other’s views have equal validity.
Edited by traveler (10/02/13 09:51 PM)
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"