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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Religion is a Structure of Co-Dependence

Religion is a structure of co-dependence whereby people are taught they cannot live without it. To be sure, religion cannot survive without its members. Like an alcoholic or drug addict, the religious people “need their fix.” And like an alcoholic or drug addict, the churches need a cash flow to keep functioning — somewhat.

Why would I theorize thusly?

Go to meetin’ and are lifted up, told you are a sinner in need of redemption. You need Jesus, but more importantly, you need the approval of the minister to say, “you’re okay.”

The natural question arises: Don’t people automatically “know” they are okay? Apparently not, they are taught to believe that without the redemption they are nobodies. They are the walking dead. They are going to hell or will surely die at Armageddon. Zero state. Tell me: is there such a  religion in existence that doesn’t teach a hellfire or Armageddon doctrine from which its members need to be saved or rescued? Ah, but isn’t a “rescue” a sign of dis-respect, based on the Karpman Drama Triangle principles?

Karpman Drama Triangle, as taught by my therapist

True, according to Karpman, as taught by one of my many therapists, all relational situations can fit into one of two triangles of dynamics:

The Triangle of Disrespect contains the following relationship dynamics:
  • Persecutor: blaming or finding fault
  • Rescuer: wanting to fix; even if it interferes with someone’s “free will” or choice
  • Victim: “poor me”
The Triangle of Respect contains the following relationship dynamics:
  • Vulnerable: awareness to identify feeings without judgment
  • Assertive: taking care of the Self by taking healthy action
  • Caring: feeling compassion without doing someone else’s “work”
So, let’s check and see how religion fits into either of these two triangles. Religion teaches that Eve, the mother of all humans, has made us all victims. Ever since she tricked Adam with a little help from a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden, we are ALL in need of a rescue. Jesus, the Son of God became the assigned Rescuer; but not unless he was first a Victim, dying on a torture stake/cross, persecuted and killed by unbelievers. Carrying the torture/persecution idea further, all Christians were to anticipate and expect the same disrespectful treatment. Persecution at the hands of unbelievers was prompted by the big unseen enemy, Satan the Devil, the ruler of hell/the world. But the BIG Rescuer and BIG Persecutor was none other than God, since he could not find it in his heart to just forgive the newbies in Eden.

Quite frankly, the entire "Garden of Eden" story sounds truly disrespectful and really far-fetched. Furthermore, in the religion of my family of origin, the patriarchal Jehovah's Witnesses society currently in place promotes belief in such a convoluted salvation scenario. Only they had that special knowledge that no one else had. Only they could offer salvation to humanity. What a shallow and narcissistic belief!

Where is our “free will” to believe or dis-believe? Church elders quickly label the unbelievers, the doubters and even the questioners as heretics, apostates and infidels.

So, again I ask the question: In which of the two triangles does religion find itself? For me, it was obvious: the Triangle of Disrespect — hands down. Naturally, the realization of which triangle religion fit into led me to believe that the good of the holy books and the devil are both equally evil. Perhaps they are even one and the same being.

Why don’t we simply honor one another's spiritual nature and leave all divisive religious theologies out of the mix?

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2011.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sharia Law in Canada

While one might think now that Muslims/Islamists live in Canada, they would be happy to learn to live in a more “moderate” way. Well, you’d be wrong. Not everyone understands moderation because to them extremism was part of their "normal" upbringing. Nor do they understand what freedom actually is or isn't. Sadly, after immigrating to a new land from somewhere with very invasive and strict rules, some folks do not understand the concept of freedom.

I was surprised while listening to an audio clip where a professor of Arab Studies Dana Olwan at Queen’s University, spoke out against the passing of the law banning niqabs in Quebec. As a feminist and an Islamic Muslim, she was outraged that niqabs were banned. When she gets “passionate” her Arabian accent comes forth. Otherwise, she speaks excellent English. According to Professor Dana,
“The bill intends to manipulate all women, not just Muslim women... Bill 94 reserves for the state a place in women’s closets. It tells women how to practice or choose their own beliefs. It regulates how women present themselves and how they dress..."

While I believe people can surely choose their own beliefs, I can barely fathom why she feels there is no freedom here, in view of the oppression women live under in Arab lands. But because she is a professor in a university, she is believed and has quite a following, as she promotes the need to continue living according to Sharia Law, just as in their old country.

Patriarchs have dictated to the Arab women how to dress for so long, it has been internalized and now the women “persecute themselves,” some might say. They choose to wear tents, hijabs, niqabs — and mutilate their pre-pubescent girls bodies following the Sharia Law of female circumcision, as well as learning the Qur’an by rote. Many of these people are Muslim/Islamists first. Many do not consider themselves as “one of us” namely “the West” or Canadian. Some of them seem to have left their hearts in Islam.

Who could know their nationality — or even sex — just by looking?
Really, theoretically, it could be anyone!
It is true that while I am concerned about rights of women, I happen to agree with the face-coverings being a security risk. We all make assumptions that the people under those tents are women. But, as an aside, compare this with the 9/11 attacks. It has been theorized the bombers identified may have possibly come from America's own deeply corrupt government, so it isn’t a stretch to think these "tented beings" could be men or women wearing bombs. They might be Islamist or even political Zionists. Sure, why couldn't the women be bombers, too? It’s happened already in Britain — maybe. At least that's what mainstream news told us. I mean really, it could be a man or woman — or someone other than an Islamist Jihadi wearing a black tent. Who could know just by looking? It could be anyone! The powers that be can be extremely deceptive when it comes to their particular political agenda! Quite frankly, it’s just too eerie not seeing faces. At least for me. So, for anyone with a differing view, don't take my rant personally.

Some feminists believe the veils are a tool of oppression. But there is another possibility. Perhaps the veils are worn to intimidate us non-Muslims/Islamists. After all, Muslims/Islamists believe they are superior to every other race. The “brown” Muslims/Islamists even believe they are superior to their African “Black” counterparts, according to Aayan Hirsi Ali in her book, Nomad. I suppose if they believe they are better than someone else, they are entitled to more liberties, too. But, what liberties are they missing that we, by default for being white, have? Perhaps she is referring to the freedom to practice Sharia Law in Canada. The Muslims/Islamists pushed for it in Ontario — and Sharia almost became provincial law there. Think of the repercussions of such a law:
  • Freedom to beat your wife if she doesn’t agree with you on some issue.
  • Freedom to stone your wife if she commits adultery (maybe stop beating her and she will find some reason to respect you).
  • Freedom to cut off a hand or foot of someone who stole something from you.
  • Freedom to reduce a woman's power by half. A man’s word is worth twice as much as a woman’s word.
  • Freedom to make up more tyrannical rules as they go along.
  • Freedom to cut off a pre-pubescent girl’s genitals (clitoris, outer, and inner labia), stitch up the entire vagina leaving a small hole from which to pee.
I say, when men cut off their balls, western women still would not want to lose their vaginas, so forget Sharia.

Just in case you are thinking Female Genital Mutilation does not occur in Canada — think again. FGM does occur in Canada.There are doctors who will perform the surgery in Canada, despite it being against Canadian law. No one has to fly to the Arab world to have it done. Some of these immigrants are Muslims/Islamists first. Many bring to the new land their barbaric traditions and practices, where they hope one day they will be in power. They believe becoming the ruling power is Allah’s will. He will bless them and their polygamous families as they proliferate many times faster than westerners, and Allah will give them our land. That's what the Fundamentalist Islamists believe — but again, remember, not all Arabs are extremist in their beliefs.

But since we are talking about the extremists, these ones believe that it is the Westerners who are the barbarians, the Infidels, the Apostates.

But then, every extreme religion thinks they alone will dominate the world. They all think it is their particular god’s will. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are the only ones who will survive Armageddon and live forever in Paradise under Jehovah’s theocratic rule. There are the Dominionist Christians who think the same thing by enforcing upon us the ancient Hebrew Scriptures known as The Old Testament. There are the expansionist political Zionists who figure one day everyone will embrace their extreme ideology.

It would be nice if these fanatics would lose the ego-speak. Seriously.

Many women — yes, even Muslims — welcome the law to ban niqabs. After all, they claim it is a law for freedom, not oppression. Granted, it’s difficult for me to get into the head of a Muslim/Islamist after being raised Jehovah’s Witness in Canada. Each belief system has a “warp” to it. Nevertheless, I do see the parallels and the twisted reasoning that both religions use to manipulate the governments in crying for never-ending liberties to practice their sick religions and practices — and inflict it on the rest of us, besides.

I feel sure that people are waking up to some inner sense of conscience that will act as a moral compass to bring humans into better balance and less strict ideologies. After all, we are all humans and therefore we are all equal. While our religions and governments try to divide and conquer all of us, let's just all try to live in peace without judgment.

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir.
Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2011–2019.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Religion is Manipulative

Secular authorities appear to know little about how religions operate. Aayan Hirsi Ali, political scientist, spoke a universal truth when she said “government seems to feel they must enshrine cultural religions and hold [them] as sacred, no matter how dysfunctional these people act.” (Source?). She has seen religious dysfunction in her life experiences as a Muslim in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, and the United States; and I can testify about my experiences with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada.

Religious groups keep lobbying for more freedom. They cry “religious discrimination” when someone reacts to any apparent dysfunction. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, present to the public the ideal of “respect for family life,” yet their members are forced to shun family members who leave the religion, which is about two-thirds of their flock, according to Time Magazine. To me, this reveals an obvious “disconnect.” Many families are broken up as a result of religious dogma. How do families "get taken in" by a shunning rule?

No choice but to “shun”

When my mom left the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion I had no intention of shunning her. Next thing I knew, a letter arrived in the mail from an elder in her town. I felt I had no choice if I wanted to continue associating with my friends — all Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am ashamed to admit, I gave into the religious pressure to conform to the rigid rule: I squirm with discomfort now when I think how I began shunning my mom. Shunning her felt horrendously unnatural. It felt like a self-betrayal of my own principles.

Religion is “two-faced”

It seems to me that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have one face for the general public; presenting themselves as a “moderate” religion. However, for their members an entirely “other” face emerges: tyrannical.

Why does society continue to enable destructive behaviors like shunning, which takes place according to the direction of their elders?

Why do governments continue to give religious organizations money and power to control and manipulate their members?

Religion is manipulative of secularism, too

Interesting thought: religions manipulate their members. More importantly, because secular authorities continue to believe religions have members’ best interests at heart, these same secular authorities do not realize they too are being manipulated by the two-faced presentation of religious beliefs. Jehovah’s Witnesses “official” position presented to media regarding shunning is, “We do not interfere with family issues.” Yet, clearly that is not my experience. The Jehovah’s Witnesses split up my family with their harshly-enforced rules that go contrary to what is natural.

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir.
Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2011.