Spiritual Abuse Resources on the World Wide Web

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."   Bertrand de Jouvenel 

 

 

We ended yesterday’s post by recommending four excellent books on Spiritual Abuse and Recovery, which we have personally read. Now let’s take a look at some of the outstanding resources available on the internet. It’s obvious from just a Google search that spiritual abuse is a HUGE problem.

 

Jeff Van Vonderen’s website
 

Jeff Van Vonderen, who co-wrote The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, has created a website to help those who have been spiritually abused. You can find it here. 
 

He begins by defining Spiritual Abuse.

 

Spiritual Abuse (spir’-i-choo-el a-byoos’). Wouldn’t it be great if it was as simple as looking it up in a dictionary? But nothing about spiritual abuse is simple. Those who have experienced it, know it is powerful enough to cause them to question their relationship with God, indeed, the very existence of God. And it is subtle too! The perpetrators of spiritual abuse are rarely ‘Snidely Whiplash’ sorts of characters who announce that they are going to drain your spiritual energy. They may be people who seem like they are seeking to guide you to the deepest levels of spiritual maturity.

 

Spiritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of spiritual authority, the purpose of which is to ‘come underneath’ and serve, build, equip and make God’s people MORE free, misuses that authority placing themselves over God’s people to control, coerce or manipulate them for seemingly Godly purposes which are really their own.”

Be sure to check out all the information this Spiritual Abuse expert has included on his website.

 

Apologetics Index
 

The Apologetics Index is another great resource, which you can access here
 

This website features the following quote from Ronald Enroth, who wrote Churches That Abuse.
 

"Sociologists looks for patterns in human behavior and in social institutions. As you read the following pages, a profile of pastoral and spiritual abuse will emerge. Abusive churches, past and present, are first and foremost characterized by strong, control-oriented leadership. These leaders use guilt, fear, and intimidation to manipulate members and keep them in line. Followers are led to think that there is no other church quite like theirs and that God has singled them out for special purposes. Other, more traditional evangelical churches are put down. Subjective experience is emphasized and dissent is discouraged. Many areas of member's lives are subject to scrutiny. Rules and legalism abound. People who don't follow rules or who threaten exposure are often dealt with harshly. Excommunication is common. For those who leave, the road back to normalcy is difficult." Source: Churches That Abuse, by Ronald Enroth."

Be sure to scroll down and peruse all of the resources that are listed on this website.

 

ChurchAbuse.com
 

There are even websites that specifically address church abuse, such ChurchAbuse.com – Promoting Recovery from Spiritual Abuse. Here is the link. 
 

If you go to this website, you will find some of the same resources we recommended yesterday, along with other useful websites.
 

In order to determine whether you are in a healthy church, we recommend that you take a 12 question survey called “Is Your Church A Safe Place?” which you will find here.
 

You will be asked questions such as:


“Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?

 

Is leaving your group to join another church equal to leaving God?

 

Is your spiritual leader intolerant of questions or critical inquiry?

 

Do former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances?”

 

At the bottom of the survey you will find this grading scale:

 

“If you answered "no" to all of the above 12 questions, your church is very healthy. If you answered "yes" to three or more, your church is showing signs of being unhealthy. If you answered "yes" to six or more, your church is very unhealthy. If you answered "yes" to eight or more, your church is more than likely a full-blown authoritarian cult.”

 

We would love to know how your church rates! Record your scores in your comments!!!

 

Also, there are some riveting videos and articles at this website, and we hope they will help those of you who have been spiritually abused to get on the road to recovery.

 

Battered Sheep
 

Another interesting website for those who have been spiritually abused is called Battered Sheep, which you can find at this link. 
 

Here is how this ministry in introduced:
 

Battered Sheep Ministry is a place of encouragement for sheep who have been wounded and victimized by authoritarian and legalistic churches.

 

This ministry was born out of personal experiences that we have been through in a couple of authoritarian/legalistic churches. As a result of our experiences, the Lord has given us a burden for people, especially those who are going through painful trials.”
 

At Battered Sheep, you will find articles, stories, letters, resources, and links that will be of great encouragement if you have experienced spiritual abuse. I love this website!

 

If you suspect you are in an abusive church, please utilize these resources! They will be a tremendous help to your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

 

Lydia's Corner: Numbers 19:1-20:29 Luke 1:1-25 Psalm 56:1-13 Proverbs 11:8

 



 

Comments

Spiritual Abuse Resources on the World Wide Web — 44 Comments


  1. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    The best source for any spiritual abuse and recovery is someone who has actually been through it.

    Problem is, many NEVER recover. Many never can make it back to living a normal life.

    You do not know you are in a situation until something hits you smack in the face and then it is way to late.

    You see it, hear it, but do not recognize or even care about a spiritual abuser until YOU are the victim.

    When you have been abused, life never returns to normal – ever! But does anyone really care?

    My experience – NO! Not yet, but………………….


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    Anonymous,

    “You see it, hear it, but do not recognize or even care about a spiritual abuser until YOU are the victim. ”

    I completely understand where you are coming from! I was just thinking earlier this morning about a young man who left my former church. When I heard why he had left I remember thinking, “Gee, I don’t blame him.” But you are right, I stayed there for while until abuse happened to me and my eyes were opened. It is unfortunate that is how it is in most cases.

    I do believe that we can recover. Some people take longer than others. I know I’m not over it yet, even though I’ve been out for seven months. The best recovery method for me has been talking to a married couple who had experienced abuse at my former church and bailed. They understand. They don’t judge, They encourage.

    “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.” ~Isaiah 42:3

    I took that 12 question quiz a few months back and scored 9.


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    Anonymous,

    I can’t disagree with your sentiments that noboby cares about the victim. For the most part, that certainly appears to be true.

    Rest assured that there are a few people who care very deeply about victims of spiritual abuse. We are establishing a community here at TWW that is trying to minister to those who have experienced such abuse. What’s so wonderful is that it’s an interactive community! ByFaithAlone, who responded to you, experienced spiritual abuse at his church, and we featured his testimony in our Valentine’s Day post.

    We highly encouge victims to write about what happened to them because documenting the horrors of abuse can be extremely therapeutic. We are even willing to publish victims’ testimonies here at TWW if it would help them in the recovery process. I am encouraged that those hurt by spiritual abuse are speaking out more and more. Silence is definitely not golden when it comes to abuse!


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    ByFaithAlone,

    Wow! A score of 9 means you were in a FULL BLOWN CULT!!! That’s very scary because it identifies itself as a normal Reformed Baptist church.

    I am so glad that you are part of this internet community. Thanks for reaching out to help others here. This is how the body of Christ should be functioning.


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    Dee

    I come out with a 5 meaning it was a border situation.


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    Anonymous

    Spiritual abuse is a topic that is becoming more recognized. We have the internet to thank. The more we talk, the more it will have to be dealt with. Also, the more it is talked about, the more people will be aware and more quick to ditch a bad church.

    Pastors will have to watch their words, especially browbeating the flock because they will see the words again-spewed all over the Internet. Funny how idiotic some of these guys can look when their words move out of their tightly controlled little kingdoms and appear on you tube.

    The funny thing about “teaching the flock about gossip” is that it tends to cause the majority of people to become more curious about why they shouldn’t be asking about something. Human nature being what it is will negate the intent.

    TWW hopes in the next month to tell a story that offers a glimmer of hope in the dark world of spiritual abuse.


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    I’d like to pass along a definition copied from Wikipedia for “Secular Humanism”, then a question:

    “Secular Humanism, alternatively known as Humanism (with an emphasis on the capital H to distinguish it from other forms of humanism), is a secular philosophy that espouses human reason, ethics, and justice, and the search for human fulfillment.

    It specifically rejects religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision-making.

    Secular Humanism is a comprehensive life stance that focuses on the way human beings can lead happy and functional lives. Though it posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or God, it neither assumes humans to be inherently or innately good, nor presents humans as “above nature” or superior to it.

    Rather, the Humanist life stance emphasizes the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions. Fundamental to the concept of Secular Humanism is the strongly held belief that ideology — be it religious or political — must be examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith. Along with this belief, an essential part of Secular Humanism is a continually adapting search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy.”

    Now the question: Where are the people who have suffered abuse at the hands of Secular Humanism? Who has suffered because of too much concern for human fulfillment? Where are the victims of too much reason, justice and human ethics?

    For all the trumpeting of Christian values, for all the denouncements of secular humanism by the religious right, for all the “warnings” of immoral behavior which would follow in the footsteps of abandoning religion, which system seems to cause the most most grief, pain and suffering, which one abuses people, which one is consumed by greed and control, which one should be abandoned?


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    Karl

    Hurt me, Karl, hurt me. 😉

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity which is propagated by some in leadership. Why do we need grace and redemption as provided for by Jesus? It is not so that we become better people in terms of ourselves. It is because we cannot become better people. We are absolutely no different than anyone who is not a Christian,except for one thing- we are forgiven and are bearers of the Holy Spirit which serves as friend and convicter.

    In fact, we should be the ones that truly see ourselves in all of our weaknesses. But leader types use sin as a way to browbeat us because they, too, are sinners. Perhaps the only thing Christians should have over the rest of the populace is a deep understanding of our inability to be perfect and to have deep gratitude for a Savior who understands that.


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    What, in other words you’re normal? What a revelation! 🙂

    Everyone realizes that no one is perfect, it requires neither religion nor revelation. What seems lost on many Christians is the distinction between “perfect” and “better”.

    No one is going to attain “perfection” primarily because it is a word without definition, on the other hand, no forgiveness, no help from on high, is required to improve who we are and to continually aspire to and achieve a better life personally and globally, it’s done all the time.

    Religion thrives on one thing, that people believe they are fundamentally flawed and in need of rescue by an outside force, while humanism thrives on people who have a healthy self-image and recognize that their ability to improve is limited only by their desire.

    People often laugh when they hear someone else say “I Think I’m a great person” and sometimes make a joke about “being humble too!”, but I think that humor simply betrays their true feelings about themselves, i.e. that most people believe they are flawed, fractured, incomplete and undeserving. It is in that environment that religion thrives and it is that condition that humanism attempts to cure.


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    Karl

    Thanks for making my point. I know that most people think they are flawed. Also, most people, believe they have worth. That is the Christian way. Created in the image of God and yet imperfect. It is the concept of good and flawed dwelling within that causes all humanity to seek for a solution. I know that Humanism has some ideas-all do. But the sticking point is this. No matter how hard humanity tries, sin prevails along with good. There is a reason we can’t overcome it. For humanists, it is a simple “I’m not perfect. For Christians it is a flaw in human nature which requires an outside solution.


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    Karlton,
    Religious abuse is, by definition, associated with religion. But there’s a difference in category when dealing with a particular set of beliefs / practices and the adherents of those beliefs / practices.

    Of course secular humanism, as a philosophica system, is not abusing anyone. Philosophies don’t treat people badly — only other people do. Likewise, it is not “religion”, in this case the moral or philosophical or theological tenets of Christianity, that is the source of abuse — it is the human beings who imperfectly practice (or altogether fail to practice) those tenets who are being abusive.

    Just as there are individuals who twist Christian principles and behave in selfish ways, there are those who have twisted Humanistic principles to serve their own ends. Since there have been far more people throughout history who claim adherence to Christianity than those who consider themselves Humanists, there are naturally far more instances of bad behavior in the larger group. I’m sure there are far more bad Christians than there are bad Satan worshippers, too. But I suspect that, on the whole, among the adherents of all systems of beliefs or preferred behaviors, the percentages of decent and sincere adherents and the percentage of bad apples is probably pretty much constant, as human nature is pretty much constant.


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    I think the difference is that you cannot treat people badly and the same time claim adherence to the goals and philosophies of secular humanism, they are quite simply polar opposites. On the other hand, people have demonstrated that it is quite possible to treat people badly and justify it via religious tenets.

    You cannot “read into” secular humanism anything that would allow you to fly a jet into a building full of innocent people, or force people to become humanists at the point of a sword but for the good of the souls. Religion, unfortunately allows this “flexibility” quite easily.


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    Junkster,

    in addition you made a very revealing statement. You said, “But I suspect that, on the whole, among the adherents of all systems of beliefs or preferred behaviors, the percentages of decent and sincere adherents and the percentage of bad apples is probably pretty much constant, as human nature is pretty much constant.”

    if that is in fact true, then Christianity has no more power to transform lives than any other philosophy or religion. If it did, it’s ranks should clearly lean toward a higher percentage of good than other religions or philosophies can produce.

    If that be the case, then there is no reason to follow Christianity over another philosophy which is less prone to being perverted into a control and abuse mechanism…and there are many.


  14. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Karlton,
    Perhaps you have more faith in humanity than I do. I’ve yet to see an example of any philosophy or world view that cannot be distorted into a justification for mistreating others by someone with the will and power to do so. Humanism is no magic bullet to cure the errors of human thinking and behavior.

    I would agree with your assessment that, as a philosophy or religious system, based on the vast majority of those who claim it, Christianity has no more power to transform lives than any other system, and there is no more reason to adhere to it than to any other religion or philosophy.

    But I make a distinction between Christianity as a religion and following Christ, the Person, and I make a distinction between those who take the name of Christian and those who seek to know Christ.


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    Junkster,

    I cannot make that distinction, not that I am incapable of doing so, but rather because I see it as a contrivance, an easy escape from those who try to share their realizations of the non-existence of God via their personal experiences. It is much easier to dismiss those people by claiming they obviously weren’t “true” Christians rather than to give those opinions the due weight and consideration that they deserve.

    It is the “true Scotsman” fallacy of logic and I have seen it used over and over again. The opinion or statements of the former Christians to the effect that they knew God wasn’t there, knew that no one was really answering prayers or talking to them, is summarily dismissed and given no weight by simply proclaiming that “they never where true Christians in the first place”.

    It is a coward’s way out, in my opinion, used by those who are aware of the truth and can’t afford the luxury of admitting it to themselves. it is easier to dismiss the contrary ideas and go merrily along our way, pushing to the subconscious anything which could rock us from our sleep. Cognitive dissonance at work.

    Lest you think that a bit harsh, I include myself in that description as well, for many many years.


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    It can be seriously argued that the Bible belt West extends Eastward & Southward from the fabled O.C. (where Chuck Smith founded the Calvary Chapel movement) encompassing almost all of Southern California and Arizona.

    When you get to Havasu and cross the mighty Colorado, you are in cross-hair country, where there ain’t nothin’ worse than queers, women who don’t know their place, and big nosed kikes who teach at snooty colleges East of the Mississippi. An exception to the women thing can be made of course for a certain gal who has referred to herself as a pitbull in lipstick and who charges at least 100 grand per speaking engagement.

    When I got out of the Army during the Vietnam era, I had discarded the faith I had learned as a child growing up Lutheran. I got involved with the Calvary Chapel thing and for a long time I believed lock, stock, and barrel everything they taught, I got religion as my Dad‘s generation (WWII) would put it. Those were the rueful days of the early 70’s, Saigon hadn’t fallen yet, and America was desperate to save her honor. We were the generation lost in space that Don McLean would sing about in “American Pie”.

    Calvary Chapel adheres to the Moses model of Church governance. They are very authoritarian and complete autocratic rule by the head Pastor is the norm. The problem with this type of model is that the head honcho is answerable to nobody. There is no governing polity other than a tightly exclusive clique which aids (rubber stamps) the head honcho in calling the shots, much like a third world dictatorship.

    I cannot say that I was injured or spiritually abused during my sojourn with Calvary Chapel, but I could no longer accept as a matter of conscience certain dogmas of the movement. No wimminz in the pulpit would be a salient example, which after careful research and critical thinking on my part, could no longer be sustained as a “Biblical essential”. I could cite a few more examples but rather than allowing this comment to ramble any more than it already does, suffice it to say that for the last 10 years, I have been happily re-ensconced in the liberal wing of the Lutheran Church (ELCA), rich irony I guess.

    Patient reader might ask: So what is the point of this key-peckin’ ramble Muff? And that’s a fair question to be sure. The point is simply this, you don’t have to throw the baby Jesus out with the bath water, but by all means if it works for you, you can get rid of all that nasty water.


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    http://www.barnabasministry.com/recovery-grief.html

    Another resource that has helped my husband and I recognize and deal with some of the things that happened to us, both in, and after, our abusive church.

    Other pages on this website are also very helpful.


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    Heather,

    Thanks for the resource. I hope our readers will check out this website. Glad you were able to find help.


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    Muff,

    I enjoyed reading your ramble, and I’m glad you found us here at TWW. You always have such interesting comments.


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    Yikes – we score at least a 7. 🙁


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    Karlton,
    I understand what you’re saying. but I think you are reading too much into what I said. I made no claims about whether or not certain individuals are or aren’t (or were or weren’t) Christians. I only made a distinction between the form of Christianity and it’s substance.

    It’s both disingenuous and unfair to summarily dismiss the reality of someone’s experience based on the lack of reality of someone else’s.

    One could just as easily claim that the denial of God’s reality is a psychological defense mechanism for those who refuse to acknowledge his reality and authority. The choice to act in a ways that conflict with internalized beliefs can also create cognitive dissonance, and some may resolve the tension by rejecting the beliefs that restrict desired actions.


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    I agree with you Junkster and i am not advocating the abolishment of belief based on someone else’s lack of experience. What I was trying to get across was that I believe the vast number of Christians reject out of hand the confessions of former Christians by simply re-defining the word Christian to not include anyone who left the faith. The argument goes something like this…

    Christian: “The reason you don’t believe in Jesus or God is because you haven’t heard His voice in your heart or experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in your life”

    Atheist: “Well actually I was a Christian for many years and I can say that during that time I always knew that no one was really there, I just “heard” my own ramblings in my head and wanted to believe it was God’s”

    Christian: “Ah, well then it’s obvious that you weren’t a “real” Christian otherwise you could never have left the faith in the first place”

    in one fell swoop they discard any possibly conflicting viewpoints without consideration.


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    Hi Karl

    As you know, I do not believe that stuff. You atheists have caused me to rethink that paradigm. I do believe that you believed. In fact, as my current pastor said, “If other people can’t have been Christians before they stopped believing, how can you know that you are a Christian?” That one will get the juices flowing for my Calvinist friends.


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    Trinity Watcher

    Run, baby, run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    I know it’s not true of you my friend, but I promise it’s true of the vast majority I have encountered. 🙂


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    @ Deb: I got the URL of the Pure Provender site from a friend who has it posted on her blog. Definitely one of the best resources I’ve ever come across…


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    numo,

    I agree about the Pure Provender website. I hope our readers looking for resources on spiritual abuse recovery will check it out.


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    Kendall, I certainly have nothing against Secular Humanism, but you asked a question and my first thought was, “Wasn’t Stalin? And didn’t he do a boat load of harm to literally millions of people?” (Just ask any Czech who lived through 1945-1960.)

    Do you not consider Stalin a believer in Secular Humanism? How about Kim Jong-il?

    Not looking for a fight but offering some thoughts.


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    Stunned,

    Did I miss a post or did you mean Karlton and not Kendall?

    I would answer that in this way, I believe they were all atheists, yes. But what they did wasn’t a function of their atheism any more than you can say people with brown eyes are bad because Stalin had brown eyes.

    This is very different from most of the current (and former) religious fanatics where it is the dictates of their religion which motivate and give support to their actions. How do we know this, quite simply, because that’s what they tell us that this is the case. They are quite up front about why they do the things that they do and it is not difficult to look at most sacred texts and see how it could reasonably be used to support their actions, the fact that there may be differing interpretations notwithstanding.

    To your other point, Secular Humanism as a movement or philosophy simply does not support or encourage that type of behavior, it is completely contrary to both its intent and spirit. Though I suppose it is possible that an individual could be a secular humanist and still have some other agenda that would motivate his bad actions, but there is nothing in secular humanism itself which could be used to support that type of behavior.


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    My Dearest Kendall ( 😉 ) I don’t think they are bad because they were secular humanists. That would be just as silly as thinking someone was bad because they had blue eyes. (Brown eyed people are never bad.) Maybe you forgot what you had said above but I was merely responding to something you had said above. Let me see if i can find it and maybe then you’ll understand what I was saying.

    I found it! This is what I was referencing. I guess it would have helped had I referenced it in my earlier post. I am sorry about that. I have done it to you before as well.

    Above you said, “Now the question: Where are the people who have suffered abuse at the hands of Secular Humanism?”

    I was merely answering it by saying that I thought that a few (thousand or is it million) people suffered at the hands of Stalin who (correct me if I am wrong) would be considered a secular humanist who thought quite a bit and looked to science for many things. (You had mentioned the thinking and science thing above.) So as you see, Kendall, I was merely answering your question.


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    Dear Stunning,

    I was answering that question. Even if Stalin was a secular humanist (difficult since the movement itself is only 30 or so years old) the people who suffered under him were not suffering at the hands of “secular Humanism” because it was not Secular Humanism that justified and supported the atrocities committed.

    Here is a brief outline of what it means to be a secular humanist (not the same thing as being an atheist I might add)


    A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

    Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

    A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

    A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

    A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

    A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

    A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

    Secular humanism, then, is a philosophy and world view which centers upon human concerns and employs rational and scientific methods to address the wide range of issues important to us all. While secular humanism is at odds with faith-based religious systems on many issues, it is dedicated to the fulfillment of the individual and humankind in general. To accomplish this end, secular humanism encourages a commitment to a set of principles which promote the development of tolerance and compassion and an understanding of the methods of science, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection.


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    So somehow someone who has suffered at the hands of Christians is someone who has suffered under Christianity but someone who has suffered at the hands of one who could be called a Secular Humanist is not someone who has suffered at the hands of Secular Humanism?

    Am I understanding your stance correctly?


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    What I am saying is that there is nothing in the philosophy of secular humanism that allows for the arbitrary murdering, or abuse of other human beings, it’s stance is to use reason and compassion to create a better society. On the other hand, most religious texts, while containing some good advice and philosophies, also justify violence, murder, rape, genocide, etc. under the direction of their Gods. This allows adherents of that religion to use it in order to justify their actions.

    I am not saying that every case of a religious person who commits atrocities is using his/her religion to justify the acts, there are bad people everywhere, including in secular humanism. The point I am trying to make is that religion, in general, can easily be used to encourage and support those acts, while the secular humanist who commits acts of violence cannot find justification or support for his actions in the values of secular humanism.

    So, while it is common to hear terrorists claim they what they are doing is in line with the teachings of their religion or God, be it the Christian God during the crusades or Allah, more recently, I cannot think of a single instance of someone committing a mass murder and saying it’s because he is following the teachings of secular humanism which advocates reason and compassion to create a better world for everyone.


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    I gotcha. I understand what you are saying now.

    Though I still can’t help to think about those who say what they are doing is for the betterment of humans and compassion (for the masses) who reason that it is sometimes necessary to break a few eggs to make an omelet. I could be off, but I still think that that was Stalin’s philosophy as he tortured and murdered millions. (Please feel free to tell me I am wrong. This is not that big of a deal for me but every time I read the argument above, I think of Stalin and all the other well intentioned but shall we say, misguided individuals like him. The word Secular Humanism may not have been around then, but didn’t he believe that he was using reason (and certainly his version of compassion) to create what he and millions of others considered a beautiful world?

    And if you want to insist that secular humanism has only been around 30 years, yet that is proof that they don’t kill millions, I am forced to question the same of the other religions. In the first thirty years of Christianity, was there any written scripture or behavior that did such a thing? (I think it took us a bunch more years to get around to a murdering people or even doing it and justifying it with the bible.) How about the first thirty years of Judaism (sp?)? Nope, it was a lot more than 30 years before those things were codified, too. (Hmm, were they codified or just written down? Not sure.) How about the first thirty years of Muslim? In his early teaching did he talk about this? Maybe, maybe not. I could be wrong about it all. But i hope you get my point. Either the Secular Humanism way of thinking has been around for centuries or it is new. If it is new, I think it’s a bit early to say that the philosophy hasn’t yet led to anyone murdering millions. (I know you didn’t say yet, but if you insist it is only 30 years old, compared to the age of the other religions you were alluding to, it’s like saying, “Hey, look at this newborn, he hasn’t murdered anyone yet. He must be good.”)

    Hey, Kendall, I am not down on Secular Humanism, I am just saying pretty much any system or belief can be used to do harm.

    And saying that no one has done mass murder under System X yet means it’s ok is not a very good defense. I could create a belief system tomorrow and claim that it is legit because i haven’t killed anyone with it. (Again, I am not saying Secular Humanism is a good system or a bad system. I guess I just think your argument in this one area is kinda weak.)

    I think that stating its beliefs and letting people judge on that is a much stronger argument for Secular Humanism. (And hey, I’m a communications expert so I know these kinds of things. 😉 )


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    Roberta

    I started reading your site last night. I was tired and fell asleep. I can’t wait to read more today.


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    Hey Karl

    Maybe she meant Kindle since you seem to have a lot of knowledge in that brain of yours.


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    Karl

    A rose by any other name…


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    ps. I love the stunning part! Now if only I could get other people to call me that in my real world.


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    Karl

    Here is an example. I know secular humanists who support the right of people to abort late term babies, and even babies up to the age of one year old if they are an inconvenience. They also believe that it is in the best interest of society for elderly people and the handicapped to off themselves in order to create a better life for those who are born healthy. Peter Singer is a humanist. Humanism, by making man into a production unit in the betterment of society devalues human life by making judgments on who is worthy to live.

    One can clearly see the benefits to a society by killing a Down’s Syndrome child born to a poor mother. Think of all the resources that will need to be “wasted” on such an individual-the medical care for the heart problems many of these children experience, all the special needs schooling issues, the group homes and jobs to be found. That is humanism at its most expedient.


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    Dee,

    Well, let’s start with the fact that he is not a secular humanist…although he has expressed admiration for many of the values promoted by secular humanism, Singer believes it to be incomplete and promotes a sort of utilitarian personism instead

    On abortion, Singer states that arguments for or against abortion should be based on utilitarian calculation which weighs the preferences of a woman against the preferences of the fetus. In his view a preference is anything sought to be obtained or avoided; all forms of benefit or harm caused to a being correspond directly with the satisfaction or frustration of one or more of its preferences.

    Since a capacity to experience the sensations of suffering or satisfaction is a prerequisite to having any preferences at all, and a fetus, at least up to around eighteen weeks, says Singer, has no capacity to suffer or feel satisfaction, it is not possible for such a fetus to hold any preferences at all. In a utilitarian calculation, there is nothing to weigh against a woman’s preferences to have an abortion; therefore, abortion is morally permissible.

    Similar to his argument for abortion, Singer argues that newborns lack the essential characteristics of personhood—”rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness”—and therefore “killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.”

    Although Singer believes that some lives are so blighted from the beginning that their parents may decide their lives are not worth living, in other cases, once the decision is made to keep them alive, everything that can be done to improve the quality of their life should, to Singer’s mind, be done.

    On euthanasia, Singer, in his book, examines the euthanasia issue, and breaks it down into three types:

    Voluntary Euthanasia (VE) (the person is cognizant and aware at the time and chooses this option)

    Involuntary Euthanasia (IE) (the person is not cognizant and aware, but has at some time indicated that they wish to die and this action is carried out only in order to cease suffering)

    Non-Voluntary Euthanasia (NVE) (this is the ethically controversial situation in which the person is no longer cognizant nor aware in order to make a choice).

    No where is he remotely suggesting that we kill healthy people simply for the benefit of the younger generation nor is killing a baby because it is inconvenient part of what he proposes if you read his entire books and not just snippets from the press or some web site.

    Lastly,

    We make judgments all the time on who is worthy to live, every soldier that shoots an enemy combatant makes that decision, every police officer that shoots and kills a someone who points a gun at them makes that decision, Firemen and parents make that decision when they can only save some of the people in a burning building. Doctor’s and nurses make that decision when they triage (especially when it is not a matter of being able to save someone as it is a matter of resources to do the work). The point is that type of decision is made all the time and with a lot less thought or reason than Singer is trying to bring to the table. He at least acknowledges the problem and tries to find a well thought out, reasoned solution to how those decisions are made.


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    I am sure there has got to be at least a couple of thousand doctors over the years who believe in secular humanism. So at least you are agreeing that those decisions ARE being made and that deaths of millions can be attributed to the thought process of those who believe in Secular Humanism. Man, Kendall, you keep making my point.

    (I am totally kidding here. I know it’s hard to see tone in print so I hope you know I am kidding with you.)