Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Best Excuse For Abuse...

...religion of course! Being ostracised from your family is a form of abuse. Being shut out from your entire community and left without any support systems is even worse. When we hear about gay people who've been ostracised because of their sexuality we are rightly outraged. Similarly parents who turn their backs on disabled children or those who look a little different from the rest (such as when a recessive gene gives white parents a black child or vice versa) are considered contemptible without question. If your child however says "Hey I just figured out there may actually not be a big guy with a beard flying around on the clouds, playing the harp and simultaneously monitoring and judging everything that we do, not to mention writing a highly mis-interpretable book" then it's fine to never speak to them again and tell everyone in the family and community to do the same.

4 comments:

Anji said...

Sounds like Disfellowshipping... I have a friend who is a Jehovah's Witness who was telling me about Disfellowshipping. She described it thus:

"Its part of my religion. To keep the congregation clean of any moral turpitude, if a member does something that is against Bible principles and commands and isn't repentant, they are disfellowshipped (I used DF as a short term) which is a lot like the Catholic's excommunication. But if the disfellowshiped person wants to be forgiven later on they can be reinstated, but they have to wait a few months, and they get certain privledges taken away from them. Part of their punishment is that we can't talk to them, unless it's an emergency or buisness. It goes both ways, so that their bad habits or whatever don't rub off on other members of the congregation, and it also helps them realize how bad life is without God in it.

It's hard to explain in one paragraph. But trust me it's loving, and justified.

Disfellowshipping is odd if you aren't used to it. But it makes perfect sense when you do everything else that we do. And spiritually she is dead because she doesn't have god's holy spirit operating in her life right now. And if Armageddon (the end of the wicked system of things) were to come right now... she would have less chance of making it through. I wouldn't say that she wouldn't make it, because God read's the heart, and I'm sure he's taking her bi-polar condition into account.

I just hope that she will accept the 'punishment' and do what she needs to to be reinstated. I've had friends and family go through this before, but with everyone it's hard all over again. It's a learning experience. You come back 100 times stronger and more convicted to do what is right. In the end it makes you a better person."


I can see why she thinks the way she does - it's the only thing she has ever been taught. But you're right, it must be horrible for the ostracised person.

Iceman said...

The ultra-Orthodox Jews (and fundamentalists of many other religions as well) have to totally cut off from modern society in order to prevent a lot more of their young people from "getting ideas" and rejecting that way of life. They live in all-Orthodox neighborhoods, attend only religious schools, and push their children into jobs where they won't have to work with people of other faiths (in New York a lot of them go into the diamond business). How many people would voluntarily live a cult-ish lifestyle straight out of the Middle Ages if they knew what the alternatives were?

Cruella said...

Wow - Anji, that's amazing, thanks for posting that. Particularly when she sayd that disfellowshipping "helps them realize how bad life is without God in it."

That's such a horrid bullying tactic. Clearly life without God wouldn't be nearly so bad if you didn't lose all your friends and family into the bargain... My God-less life is a lot of fun.

Cruella said...

At risk of sounding mean though - no wonder the woman she's talking about is bi-polar! And how kind and thoughtful of the community to take someone with a very serious mental conditions, one associated with a high suicide rate, and just cut them off from all their support systems. She even admits God probably wouldn't cut them off, but she still would. Shudder...