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How to deal with this Faith-based sober community?

Old 01-27-2013, 02:46 PM
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How to deal with this Faith-based sober community?

Hi all -

Been frustrated lately here at SR. Particularly the frighteningly abundant crowd who chime in with solutions like "Just put it in God's Hands" and "The Lord will look over you". Similarly, I find it just as annoying to hear it when someone says "My husband has lost the Lord and started drinking again", and then in flow the responses.

I find religion to be a terribly infantile affliction. I have not believed in God since I was able to think for myself (around 7 or 8 probably). After 7 months sober, I am flabbergasted and disappointed at all of the God talk in meetings and on boards like this. I am trying to continue to find rational thinkers and science-based information to help guide me through my recovery. Seems to be severely lacking.

Some say, "Don't bother them, after all, to each his own". I say that's bollux. A belief in God quite frankly insults the intelligence of all humanity, and I see this terrible crutch being used as an excuse and a solution day after day. It's quite frankly embarrassing to hear people talk this way, and I'm sad to see it so prevalent in a community that could benefit so much by turning to logic instead of fantasy.

I hate having to always sit on my hands when someone says "Just trust God" at meetings or here on SR. It's terrible, terrible advice. They might as well say "Just trust in the Frog-Unicorn, it will guide you". It's akin to saying to just do nothing and hope for the best.

Since I find this advice so harmful, I want to at least reach out from time to time with a link or passage from an atheist perspective that might help someone. Unfortunately it never works, I'm brow-beaten for it and told to come here and post my kooky thoughts instead.

How can I take any advice from my community seriously when it's all so polluted with ancient superstitions? Aaargh. Frustrated.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:03 PM
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I don't think any one group holds any kind of ascendency here, although I remember thinking that way when I first got here

This is a large community - you'll find people whose belief system you feel sympatico with and others you'll feel less kindly to.

Most of us find we get less bothered by others as we go along.

There will probably come a time when you'll sail serenely through any thread

Until then, if you find you can't look away the ignore function is a pretty useful tool

Ignore bothersome members. If there is someone on the forum that bothers you, select the Ignore option on the drop down menu under their name on the post. You won't see any posts from this member again.
D
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bigsombrero View Post
How can I take any advice from my community seriously when it's all so polluted with ancient superstitions? Aaargh. Frustrated.

I've got to say that you're unique on this one - as in I've not often seen someone who has such a simple view and yet shares nothing that has anything to do with science based explanations. Why you are focusing on posts where the people are asking for help and the you appear upset with their stupidity for not believing religion is a infantile affliction? Seems you should focus wherever it is YOU need help/support. If you think you're some kind of hero/guru who must save these idiotic people, go find the forums where posters are asking for that kind of help.

People here are asking for help, support, experience, listening ears, etc....Over and over you're going to be frustrated if you choose to focus on giving them the message of quit God/faith. Considering that is one of the most personal things in many peoples life, I can't even think of much to compare that to.

The only thing I can even think that may help you, based on MY experience, is if someone is replying to you (like me) when you post for support, experience, shares...and someone keeps treading on your toes, IGNORE feature is handy and very simple.

This is not a faith based community other than certain sections that focus there and many members have strong beliefs, as do I.
Not sure where you're coming from nor why...SR is not where you're disappointment should be. I haven't seen anything in what you've written to even relate to what the OP was asking for.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:04 PM
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Me then- militant atheist. I could not find help that wasn't infused with superstitious BS.
Me after putting down the needle and bottle- non-theist AAer and CBT-proponent. As time goes by, I am more and more able to to just BE and be okay in my own skin. I also need to quit fighting everything and everyone. I highly recommend In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate. It was transformative for me.

Unfortunately, the extinction of religion will not happen in my lifetime. So I have to adjust my perceptions so I can remain godless and happy, joyous and free. And there are a lot of us.

HTH
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:05 PM
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I also love the Frog-Unicorn! lol

I do know what you mean though. Sticks in the throat a bit. It's hard not to get upset at such "gobble-de-****"

I think the intent or sentiment behind it is the thing. These god dudes really want the best for you. I really believe that. Just accept it as a kind thought or wish and it doesnt feel so bad.

I do hear you though.

Stu.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:10 PM
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Speaking for myself, I totally appreciate the fact SR IS available to people of any faith or none. It is extremely clear in the way the forums are titled, so you can go right to where you might feel most comfortable. Also, you may want to step up your research into non-theist recovery methods and philosophies - you'll find there are heaps out there.

As the previous poster said wisely (paraphrasing here): a big part of recovery from alcohol / drug addiction is practising acceptance of others and ourselves.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:12 PM
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Whoops - I meant mfanch's post, Stu's got through before I posted..
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bigsombrero View Post
Hi all -

Been frustrated lately here at SR. Particularly the frighteningly abundant crowd who chime in with solutions like "Just put it in God's Hands" and "The Lord will look over you". Similarly, I find it just as annoying to hear it when someone says "My husband has lost the Lord and started drinking again", and then in flow the responses.

I find religion to be a terribly infantile affliction. I have not believed in God since I was able to think for myself (around 7 or 8 probably). After 7 months sober, I am flabbergasted and disappointed at all of the God talk in meetings and on boards like this. I am trying to continue to find rational thinkers and science-based information to help guide me through my recovery. Seems to be severely lacking.

Some say, "Don't bother them, after all, to each his own". I say that's bollux. A belief in God quite frankly insults the intelligence of all humanity, and I see this terrible crutch being used as an excuse and a solution day after day. It's quite frankly embarrassing to hear people talk this way, and I'm sad to see it so prevalent in a community that could benefit so much by turning to logic instead of fantasy.

I hate having to always sit on my hands when someone says "Just trust God" at meetings or here on SR. It's terrible, terrible advice. They might as well say "Just trust in the Frog-Unicorn, it will guide you". It's akin to saying to just do nothing and hope for the best.

Since I find this advice so harmful, I want to at least reach out from time to time with a link or passage from an atheist perspective that might help someone. Unfortunately it never works, I'm brow-beaten for it and told to come here and post my kooky thoughts instead.

How can I take any advice from my community seriously when it's all so polluted with ancient superstitions? Aaargh. Frustrated.
Those are pretty harsh words. Why do other people's beliefs bother you so much? Are your beliefs the only ones that matter? The only thing that is infantile here is the fact you haven't learned to get along with others and respect their differences. That is something you learn in elementary school. You may see something, I may see something different, it doesn't mean either one of us is right or wrong. Just something to think about.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:01 PM
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In many parts of the world, one's religious convictions are an intensely private matter, and it is seen as a matter of breeding that they are kept that way. That is not the case for most of the members here, as you have noted. Religious convictions are seen as a badge of wisdom and enlightenment, and the non believers can have salvation (or sobriety) if only they will suspend disbelief and allow the 'truth' to become manifest. I find that patronizing and dismissive.

There is a common rejoinder to comments such as yours, BigS, especially when they are critical of faith based alcoholism programs, even from their proponents. That is 'maybe your problem is YOU buster', which effectively removes the topic from any rational discussion.

I think you are more likely to receive a frank discussion of outcome- and evidence- based sobriety methods in this forum as opposed to any of the others, but there still isn't a guarantee of that.

To be clear, BigS, I am a theist, and I am a member of a faith based community. I firmly believe that my creator endowed me with free will, and absolution of my sins has zip to do with an act like drinking a glass of wine.

It is an interesting topic, and I support it. I'd be interested in hearing more of what you have to say, and I gently suggest that you keep those remarks here in this forum.

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:08 PM
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I got an attitude the other day and sent a rip roaring message to a moderator. If I was the person that received what I wrote I would have fallen on the floor laughing. Heck, I'm laughing now just thinking about it. And, thankfully the moderators saw fit to not respond to my temper tantrum.

Who do I think I am? I haven't even been here a month, lol!!!

So, I made myself do an assignment. I spent hours looking at the profiles and posts of members I had a problem with. Gee, guess what? I got to know them a bit better. Doesn't mean I necessarily liked them any better but I understood them better.

Anyway, rambling but my point is, as pointed out, use the ignore feature or skip and scroll.

And to whatever moderator I blasted. So sorry. I hope y'all at least got a chuckle or two.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:24 PM
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this is the main reason I blackout the word "God" or anything pertaining to religion in the book. ( have gone through lots of sharpies LOL) I have even ripped a few pages out.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:31 PM
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Hi bigsombrero
I am not offended by the God talk, but I am always surprised at how many people assume that everyone is Christian. It's quite forward to say something like "Hand it over to God" without knowing someone's religion or lack of religion, but that kind of assumption is born of ignorance, not malice.

I am a nontheist. I did not find the solution to my addiction outside of myself. The responsibility for making my life the way I want it to be and being the person I want to be lies squarely on me. But I do believe that miracles can happen as a result of human interaction. I do not underestimate the power of human minds and hearts. We are all interconnected.

I try to remember that as adamantly as I hold my beliefs, I must remember that others hold their beliefs equally as adamantly. If I want them to respect mine, I must do the same in turn.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:40 PM
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Sorry all - I know it came off like a criticism of SR. While that did initially spur my outburst, I was more concerned with meetings. Here on SR it can obviously get the best of me but I posted it in the "secular" forum to avoid offending theists here. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for responding. I will just let it go -- I have bigger fish to fry, I know that for sure. Thanks all, sorry for the tantrum.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:58 PM
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A belief in God quite frankly insults the intelligence of all humanity, and I see this terrible crutch.....

interesting perspective, bigsombrero.
judgmental, of course, and terribly insulting, but...
had one just like it, for the longest time. felt pretty smart about it, too, and, hm..hate to admit it, but it's true: i felt superior to those believers...til i ran into a very bright guy whose mind-workings (except for the drunk-part) i really admired and appreciated. (met him on a secular recovery forum, not here.). one day he mentioned he was a Christian. well, damn...how could this be??? "they" were stuuuupid....naive, crutch-needers, gullible....what was i to do with this????
in case you think i'm exaggerating: no. this was a serious quandary for me.

what was i to do? why would a superstitious intelligence-of-all-humanity-insulting religious person be on a secular recovery forum???

my mind was boggled.
i decided to unboggle it. to look, listen to all the judgmental stereotypes spewing out from within me, stuff i never even had realized i believed about "religious people".
it's been an eye-opening journey for the last few years, one i'm grateful to have taken the opportunity to have taken, when it would have been so much easier to keep riding on that high horse of mine...

just sharing my experience, and probably with too much information.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:22 PM
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I have only ignored two in my years here, and one of them still on my ignore list. However I have no problems with any people who believe or don't, need a leader to tell them what you believe or not. Or need to.

I do discriminate. I consider deriving any pleasure from harming another, verbally, physically, or even deriving satisfaction in only our thoughts, evil. Easy. Evil is deriving pleasure at the expense of another. Whether in a group or solo, organized or a mob. In the name of God, gods, goddesses, or their absence.

I consider all even until I meet them, and then I have found that 20% of every group are axeholes. 20% of secular, 20% of religious. 20% of those who apply labels to others to feel superior, and 20% of those who do the same to feel inferior. Every race, political party, nationality, alcoholic, teetotaler, make, female, military, civilian, and on and on ad nauseum.

80% are not axeholes! It is not my place to change others when I am so busy living, and meeting as many people as I can, and letting the axeholes be their own reward. I stay too busy with the other 80%!

I have always found what I was looking for. I have always been understood as well as I was understanding. I don't do religion, and whether that side of this coin, or the secular side of it, there are always fanatics that I coined a new word for while posting here. Prosylitution. Combining the word prosylitize and prostitute. The 20% are almost always prosylitutes.

Help stamp out prosylitution.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:38 PM
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hey there.

First, just wanted to say that I saw your post under the Family Forum (as Im family) and it was wrong for someone to immediately tell you to go look for the "athiest forum" instead of posting there.

I understand what your comments were meant to imply in that post (I think), and anyway, I felt you were attacked a bit unecessarily there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:39 PM
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I can respect a lot of what you said. I am not precisely an atheist, but I do believe in George Carlin's third commandment "Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself." Spirituality/religion are very private concepts to me and sometimes all of that gets on my nerves a bit too.
That being said, I think there are a lot more well-meaning people here than not, and everyone deals with all of this in their own ways, just like you do. For some people, that means finding comfort in the idea of a divine being looking over them. If you can, try to look past the "God" idea and look at the meaning behind what they are saying. I am sure most of the folks you talk to or that respond to you are wishing you very well.
And good for you on 7 months sober. That's awesome!! And the Frog-Unicorn... LOL
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Itchy View Post
Help stamp out prosylitution.
If you make the T-shirt, I'll buy one!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mfanch View Post
As time goes by, I am more and more able to to just BE and be okay in my own skin. I also need to quit fighting everything and everyone. I highly recommend In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate. It was transformative for me.

HTH
Wanted to comment on the book; it was excellent. And by coincidence I made a post in the Family Forum recently which was about an article on Gabor Mate and hmmm... a lot of people took offense, got stuck on the issue of "blame".
But anyway, Ive read a couple of his books and my husband found them valuable also. This was the article:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ains-why.html?
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:31 AM
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If someone is successfully staying sober, then I have something I can learn from them. I think every aspect of a faith-based approach is open to a secular interpretation. Where there are fundamental differences, then I can offer my experience as to what worked. If what I am doing is not working, then I will remain open to anyone's experience that is.

Finally, if anyone is pestering you, you can always add them to your ignore list.
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