Some interesting comments on that discussion that I wanted to respond to - but it's gone, so I've started another discussion to continue....

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Wow, well, look who it is! You know if you hadn't deleted your previous discussion we wouldn't all (me in particular!) be going crazy trying to find the things we had written our very selves on this very topic. I lost my first response and nobody else seems to have it, and that was my best one! You wouldn't happen to still have the responses to your initial discussion somewhere by any chance? It would make helping you out a lot easier, at least for me!

Wanderer - if you want more on what Charles is on about see here:

http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/we-can-take-the-word-fai...

As to getting the word out, it is either one person at a time or write something really good, a book or an article, that gets a lot of attention. Good luck with that! We're all trying to do the same thing. As for faith itself, it just means "belief". The religious use it as a substitute for "unjustified belief", which is somehow a good thing as far as they are concerned! It allows them to believe what they want to believe not just about the universe, but especially about themselves. It gets more complicated to be sure, but essentially this is all there is to it.

Wanderer, right on target!

Charles - are you able to give us a brief summary - or take us through your epiphany regarding ''faith'' step by step, so that we have more understanding of what you are meaning... :)

Alice, Excellent question.

Charles, I don't know the answer to your question, "how do I get the whole world to read it".

However, let me assure I read it and it initiated thinking and pondering the meaning of faith and how it crippled my efforts to solve problems and make critical changes.

For my friends who have read my story, you can stop reading now ... it is repeat of old news.

Charles, I was faced with family violence that involved generations of abuse, including broken bones, and my family and religious community issued me an imperative to yield, pray, obey, turn the other cheek, crucify yourself daily in imitation of the crucified christ and rejoice in your crucifixion.  I called this the "Passive Gospel" and I maintained and perpetuated the abuse.

In 1974 I put my kids in my car and ran 2,000 miles to put distance between us and abuse. 

I earned a bachelor's degree with my focus on family violence and wrote "Toward a theory of family violence, its antecedents, treatment and prevention" in 1977. 

I then worked on a doctoral theses, "A Splendid Heresy" in 1979 that explored changes that need to be made in the individuals, families, theology, and communities in order to prevent and treat the disease.  

I struggled with language as part of my study, looking at "forgiveness"; what good is forgiving an assault and the assaulter continues to violate an individual's right; thus forgiveness becomes part of the problem.

"Obedience" was another word that caused me pause. If one is to be obedient, how does a child differentiate between healthy obedience and dysfunctional obedience.  Followers of Jim Jones is a perfect example of dysfunctional adult adherents to obedience imperatives, and in my opinion the radical evangelical churches continue to pump out the deadly message without recognizing the harm and chaos they produce.  Billy Graham was a dysfunctional minister, in my opinion, and should be taken off the public pedestal.  

Years later, working in battered women's shelters, boys' ranches and prison systems I heard the same themes over and over and over. Crying, battered, learned helpless women, and battered boys struggling with male identity problems, and men and women in prison facing problems created by these ideas, tell me language and family violence correlate with religion and beliefs and faith.  

Charles, you are on the right track. I benefit by your query. 

Wow Joan, that is some story. And since is the first time I'm hearing it, I am also sorry to hear what you went through and glad you escaped. Your papers sounds really interesting. Would u like to share them? I've only written one graduate-level paper so far, but I think it is pretty good. It's heavy in philosophy, but it gets to many of the same issues, like identity and self-worth. Let me know if you want to read it, and if you could send me yours or share a link I'll be glad to look at yours too.

Wanderer, You are reading parts of the first chapter of "Toward a Theory of Family Violence" in which I describe the challenges I faced and the barriers to a healthy, happy life.  Obviously I am not writing in a scientific style now, but trying to break away from rigid formalized writing to a more personal use of short stories. When I submitted my thesis to the printer for printing, I typed it on an old portable typewriter that had sticky keys and so I don't have it on a computer.  

Chapter two is what I am working on now and I have changed my goal, I want to write about imagining a preferred future by learning how to think in terms of personal responsibility and accountability to create a better life and giving up on some invisible hand to guide me. That just didn't work for me. However, I am finding that ideas flow quite easily when I relax into the story. People tell me I have a much looser writing style now than when I first started in Facebook. 

Today I realized I should not be adding these stories into my comments and responses to other people's writings, but let them stand alone. I was too timid to try that before now, coward that I am. 

Yes, by all means, I do want to read your work; I assume you have it on a computer and can send it to me.  2012 looks as though it is going to be a very interesting year. 

 

Whoops, I almost forgot to send you my paper! 

Here it is in Word format. Let me know if you'd prefer OpenOffice.

Attachments:

Wanderer, I just found your article AFeldman Research Paper. It opened fine and I copied it over to my word processor so I could change to a larger print. I wasn't able to enlarge the copy that came in. 
I shall read it this week and respond as I have any comments or questions. Thanks so much.  

Oh excellent! And thank you, Joan, for wanting to read it! :-D

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