This was some months back. It also involves the crazy self-appointed evangelist I spoke of before.
One woman has a daughter and the daughter was in the hospital. So the mother was absent from a community event. It seems that the daughter has a long term problem with drug abuse, like methamphetamine. She is in her 40's and has health complications. She was hospitalized. The mother was gone to be with her.
The evangelist started ranting about how she should just write the daughter off. "She's a drug addict, she's almost as old as me." This angered me.
So I sent the mother an email. I felt good about what she was doing. I said, "I commend you for being with your daughter at this difficult time."
What came back was, "otherwise Satan would have his way with her."
Well, before I felt good. Now I felt sick to my stomach. I imagined the daughter there in the hospital bed, listening to that. I imagined the daughter listening to that kind of stuff her entire life.
The mother herself had a long long term problem with alcohol and marijuana, that is until she "got Saved" and started talking about Jesus everywhere, and about who is and who is not Saved.
The next week I saw the mother and asked how things were. She said in a disparaging tone that the daughter did not get the help she needed. I asked what she meant. She said that she needs psychiatric help. This made me feel even worse. The daughter is the scape goat.
The mother said that the daughter still lives with people who cook up drugs. She asked the daughter to come and visit. The daughter said that she fears the police might be following her, so she should not. The mother repeats the indignant tone she used, "Well I think its alright for you to visit your mother."
Yes, the idea that police have nothing better to do that to follow her around is crazy. But what the daughter is saying is that she does not trust her mother's intentions. This is dead on good perception.
The whole thing made me sick! Usually in these Born Again families there is one child who is the scape goat.
Hey, Jesus smoked weed. There is a passage in the Bible saying God gave man dominion over all the earth, including herbs. Jesus scored through John, the disciple he "loved." Hey, I love my dealer, too.
I've often wondered how alcoholics and addicts get help that is not religion-based. All the 12 step programs say you have to give up to a "higher power," so I don't think they're very open to nonbelievers. The whole basis of their program is god-centric, so I don't even know if it would work for nonbelievers. Luckily, I'm not in need of a 12 step program, but it's something I've thought about.
Yes I guess their are non-religious programs. But most of these programs, if not God / Higher Power based, are still "Recovery" based.
A while back another one of these Pentecostal crazies told me that I should read Rick Warren's "A Purposeful Life". This is a motivational book which has been on the market about 12 years. It still sells a couple million copies per month. I do not read motivational books.
Warren is the founder of the Saddle Back church, now with 20,000 members in Riverside CA.
I first heard of Warren over the objections raised to him speaking at the Obama inaguration.
So, to defend myself, I listend to some of Warren on his web site. He can't speak without using the royal WE in every other sentence. He says that "everybody needs Recovery", he says it over and over and over. He says it is a key value.
"Recovery" is the new original sin. Much of what is implied in this is substance abuse.
I always say, "Movie stars get into trouble with drugs and alcohol all the time. Its considered a medical problem, not a moral problem. But then, movie stars have large freelance creative incomes. Whereas ordinary people are judged by their willingness to work demeaning 'jobs'. This is why the substance abuse of ordinary people gets treated like a moral problem."
I also say, "People who have been treated with dignity and respect and given the chance to develop and apply their abilities, are not likely to become substance addicts."
The meaning is that it is not the addict who needs to recover. It is not the addict who has a problem. The addict is a victim. So what is needed is redress.
At a minimum there should be educational resources available. Not programs, resources. People should be able to learn what social conditions cause family dysfunction and the exploitation of children. People should be able to learn how an ideologial approach to religion is already evidence of family dysfuction. People should be able to learn how when this exploitation and abuse is not recognized, then the result is dissociation.
Often this does lead to substance addiction, an ideological approach to religion, and another dysfuctional family.
Education can help dismantle this, not Recovery. But what is really needed is redress, redress for the exploitations of the Family System.