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View Diary: Yesterday, I felt worthless & humiliated (174 comments)

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  •  I know that your profile shows you are an atheist, (8+ / 0-)

    ....but have you considered reaching out to some of the welcoming churches and people within the faith community?

        Faith, hope, and charity are not exactly the exclusive province of government. You might be pleasantly surprised to find people whose faith instructs them to be kind to you and offer you the help that you need and deserve as a fellow human being.

         I was not born into the Christian tradition, and yet our family had nowhere to turn forty years ago when there was no public education option for my little brother - who was born with Down syndrome. A Catholic school accepted him, and he blossomed there. I owe my dear Catholic friends a gift I can never fully repay.

        Be not proud, nor stiff-necked. You need help. Governments are beset with regulations and they are hamstrung. Churches are not hamstrung. They may help you, and may do so without strings attached.

       

    •  IIRC She is in the LGBT spectrum. (11+ / 0-)

      She doesn't need more abuse.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:54:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is true even in my southern town (15+ / 0-)

      United Way or a local community development organization might be able to point to church-based organization, or even to secular assistance. I would look for a "consolidated ministries" organization, Catholics, Episcopalians, one of the mainline Protestant denominations -- Presbyterian USA, United Methodist, Lutheran.

      Depending on where you live, many/most? of these orgs are sensitive to the fact that a significant % of the world is not interested in religion and/or is not Christian. Not all assistance comes with a crucifix or tract attached by any means; just people who know we all need a break at some time in our lives.

      Many blessings and a boatload of good luck to you.

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:59:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Metropolitan Community Church in Hawai'i? (0+ / 0-)

        They are an inclusive-by-design-and-intent denomination, and they DO good works FOR the marginalized, not against them (originally established so gay Christians would have a church to go to).

        I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
        Weightless, frictionless, I fly

        by chmood on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ooops, you aren't IN Hawai'i, are you? (0+ / 0-)

          I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
          Weightless, frictionless, I fly

          by chmood on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:35:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I were still in Hawai'i (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Avilyn, chmood, mayim

            I would be on AlohaCare, the state health insurance. It would cover everything. They put me through the process in three days.

            I'd have a monthly stipend. Tiny, but something.

            I would have a disability bus pass that would cost $30 a year, unlimited rides. A monthly commuter pass, when I was last in HI, was $60 a month, and a bargain given fuel prices.

            I had a wonderful social worker who helped me with the system, and who would even give me rides if she thought the bus trip was too long, or if the process on the end of it too triggering.

            But my kids are here.

            Get 10% off with KATALOGUE2013 at my shop, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

            by LoreleiHI on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:44:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I would suggest that it is not necessary (14+ / 0-)

      to be Christian to be charitable or as I pointed out to someone the other day, it seems many times I am a better Christian than most Christians and I am definitely a nonbeliever.

      The problem is that people need help yet what assistance I could offer is limited to my immediate area.

      •  OGG, nobody said anything like that. (9+ / 0-)

        If you're down to the last of your luck, there are many religious organizations more than willing to do everything from pay your rent or utility bills, spot you a chunk of cash -- my church's retired pastor and a couple of his buddies went to a junkyard, bought a used transmission, and installed it for a family stranded with zero cash, his wife cooked them a four-course dinner, and everyone kicked in some cash to help them along the rest of their trip. I'm sure there are secular groups that do the same, just don't know of too many of them in my area.

        And for LGBT people in communities where right-wing churches abound, the Unitarians and community churches started explicitly to serve the LGBT community should be able to either provide assistance or point the way to other orgs that will help without proselytizing or passing judgment.

        YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

        by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:32:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I said "many" but that's of course not (7+ / 0-)

          true in smaller, poorer communities. I live in a semi-rural county of 54k and the Bush Depression chopped us down to 3 orgs that can provide cash, pay rent or utilities, and so on -- 1 secular and 2 church-based.

          YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

          by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:38:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the nearest organizations are around 40 miles (4+ / 0-)

            away.  Whatever charity exists is purely individual.  The last time I was at my attorney's, one of his clients, an abused wife with fresh bruises and scratches, asked him about organizations.  He told her if she lacked transportation to see if relatives could help her or if friends would take her in and risk the wrath of her spouse  

            •  So dangerous. >70% of our shelters (6+ / 0-)

              have had to shut down in the past 12 years, resources choked off by reduced social services as the GOP -- aided by so, so many voters who desperately need those social services -- makes good on its promises.

              I can't take it any longer -- I'm trying to organize friends at church (we're the ones with the Obama and peace stickers) and other area Democrats to put together educational panels, no drama, just charts, graphs, white papers, etc. -- with food as the draw -- to try to attract at least a few curious souls and perhaps convince someone here and someone there that neoconservatism is not their friend. Basic civics, state and federal court systems, for-profit prisons and prison slave labor, the robber barons, Teddy Roosevelt, the New Deal, Great Society programs, defendant's rights in criminal and civil proceedings, DRE voting machine vulnerabilities, trade policy, the elements necessary for rebuilding the middle class, the list of topics is endless. Somehow there has to be a way to rip free of the neoconservatism that is a plague on our most vulnerable populations.

              YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

              by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:30:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wish you luck; around here, the GOP sponsors (5+ / 0-)

                monthly "breakfasts" for local preachers where they are told of the latest political events, met and greet GOP pols, network, and get information on the latest "threats to their faith" from secularists and atheists and Muslims

                •  Thank goodness we don't have that kind of crap (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PinHole

                  going on, at least not in any big way.

                  But that's not such a bad idea!! Local monthly breakfasts, but for ANYBODY, not just clergy (because the more conservative preachers would rather die than attend a Democratic Party function) covering the insanely stupid, cruel, bizarre laws currently being proposed in the TN lege by the likes of Stacey Campfield.

                  It has become such a wasteland here. This stiff-necked, xenophobic, myopic, stingy, authoritarian culture is flat wearing me out.

                  YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

                  by raincrow on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:53:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Unitarians have told me they can not chastise (5+ / 0-)

          one of their own members for harassing me for not following their theology in my very existence. Because it is in the bible So no, they are not a safe enough place for those of us that have seen what the power of religion can do.

          "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:40:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As you wish. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PinHole

            Tell me the last time anyone you know was abused by a Unitarian. And tell me what Unitarian theology is -- not even Unitarians are so sure about that.

            YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

            by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:18:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, I did not decode your post correctly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mayim

              Are you saying you WERE abused by a Unitarian, and that a Unitarian claimed authority to do so from the Bible?? I guess I live in the big city -- our local UUC church numbers among its congregation atheist Jews, lapsed Catholics, lapsed Hindus, 31 flavors.

              Sorry to not read your post more closely.

              YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

              by raincrow on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:41:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i'm confused by this (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OleHippieChick, PinHole, raincrow

                in ct, the local Unitarians let the pagans have Sabbats in their church

                fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

                by mollyd on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 01:31:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Unitarian churches (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raincrow

                  have a rocky history with some Pagan groups at the local level as some members have abused and harassed them in the past. At least that was the word (stay away) when I was active in my local Pagan list many moons ago.

                  I know there has been a lot of work to try to turn that around and I admit don't know the current status of the situation, but incidents have happened.

              •  I know HBCIII has suffered terrible abuse (0+ / 0-)

                at the hands of organized Christian sects, and responding with white-hot, implacable, unbending hatred is perfectly understandable.

                But if you're pushed to the limits of your resources with nowhere else to go, I figure you have to try to minimize your risks as much as possible and then.... roll the dice, eyes wide open.

                YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

                by raincrow on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:47:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I know enough (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LoreleiHI
              And tell me what Unitarian theology is
              to know that if it was my wont to read my grocery list from the pulpit I can.

              Please do not assume I'm ignorant of religion. My quest to find how humans could use religion to be so horrific, means I have delved into various sects and religions in an attempt to understand.

              "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

              by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:25:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  grocery list?? That's a cheap shot. (0+ / 0-)

                And sounds like something a Fundy would say.

                Anyway, I'm fine with a grocery list over Leviticus, any day.
                With either one, a UU church would empty out fairly quickly.  

                Some people here tried to help Lorelei, with good intentioned suggestions.  That's all.  

          •  Horace, I think you must have had (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JBL55, MRA NY, mayim

            a VERY unusual Unitarian-Universalist experience.  Was this a Welcoming Congregation?  If one goes to their website, www.uua.org, then  go to 'find a congregation' and look for the chalice symbol.  

            For Lorelei, you will find 28 in Maine.  Of those I believe only 8 have not gone through the Welcoming Congregation program, often because they are extremely small.  

            Some UU churches are more 'christian' than others.  But all are supposed to subscribe to principles, not specific beliefs.  

            There are quite a few of them and United Church of Christ congregations in Maine.  They are not generally rich congregations.  But there may be people within, who know how to access things and help get services.  

            At the very least, attending a couple of services should help your spirits Lorelei, if you can get there.  Most have loops and or aids for the hard of hearing.  

            So sorry you have hit rock bottom, and hope somehow you can access the resources you need.  Even in Maine there should be services to help the deaf.  You may have to specifically ask about an office which handles this.

            •  Perhaps you could explain to me (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LoreleiHI
              But all are supposed to subscribe to principles, not specific beliefs.
              How I'm supposed to convince them I'm being socially marginalized if their book takes precedence? I can't argue it isn't in their book.

              "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

              by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:30:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  every organization made of people has assholes (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Whatithink, PinHole, GAladybug, mayim

                But the UUA (in the US) does not have a book.  Period.  I'm not arguing that you found a homophobic asshole there -- they exist.  But there is. no. book.  

                •  Bible (0+ / 0-)

                  Leviticus?

                  Because it is in the bible as far as they are concerned that trumps my civil rights.

                  This is not a new concept.

                  I don't know any other way to explain it to you.

                  "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

                  by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:48:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Unitarian Universalists (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mayim

                    do not see the Bible as THE book.  

                    The only time I heard about Leviticus, was in a sermon informing me of what was there, and how awful it was.  Unitarian Universalists don't think much of stoning people either.  

                    Most UU fellowships have an adult course called "Building Your Own Theology"  Can you imagine the Catholics or evangelicals sponsoring such a gathering?  You have to take some responsibility here, and not just respond to something a committee 500 yrs ago came up with.

                    I've written you privately, When you have the time, please carefully read the links I sent you.  

                  •  what bible? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mayim

                    Most UUs I know consider it nothing more than an interesting historical piece of literature.  They're more likely to take Thoreau's proto-yuppie musings as their One True Way than the Bible.  

                    But I recognize that organized religion has dumped on you enough times that you don't need an argument; sorry, I snapped back in defense of the UUA without thinking it through.   As an atheist, I get a little cranky when people assume I'm not, but that's no excuse.

                    I totally understand why the diarist (and why you, in the same circumstances), wouldn't feel comfortable seeking help at any place associated with an organized religion.

                    •  (giggle) Most UU's (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      antimony, mayim

                      are considered to be guilty of being totally unorganized!

                      So many people see all churches as being the same.  Even if they don't chose to go to them personally, they should understand there is quite a difference between the Mormons, the Catholics, the Methodists and the Unitarians.  And we haven't even mentioned the Quakers and Ethical Culture!!!

                      •  :) (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PinHole, mayim

                        The guffaws I get when I shamefacedly admit that I'm a lapsed UU who hasn't been to services in years are always hilarious.  I really do mean to go, I just...never get around to it.  

                        But honestly, I have known enough people who fled toxic church environments that I'm not going to ask anyone to like organized religion.  And UUs do like a lot of the traditional trappings in places -- buildings with steeples, stained glass, etc, so it's not as "different" outside as inside.  

                        •  Those of us whose ancestors (0+ / 0-)

                          came from New England were fleeing the Puritans, Episcopalians, the Methodists, but still liked our steeples and stained glass.  :-)   That's what they were building in Lexington & Concord in the 1800's!  Church style of the times.

                          A couple of years ago we went back to the New Haven church I grew up in.  They had just built an addition - looked like a barn silo to me!   LOL!

                          We're also lapsed UU's, to a small local congregation in upstate NY, but it is due to changes in our living patterns and the efforts of one controlling congregation member.  I try not to throw out the baby with the bath water.  

                          Of course UU's do not threaten anyone with damnation, if they don't show up, so it's easier to be less active.  

                          People always have a choice, and are entitled to their own hang ups.  That some make a decision based on entirely erroneous information, really bugs me though.  ('cause I was brought up Unitarian!)  

                          Thanks for trying to shed some light here.  

    •  I was repeatedly exorcised by my parents' church (23+ / 0-)

      for having the 'Spirit of Bitterness' because I wasn't submissive enough to be happy baout going back home after I told my mother and my mother told the pastor about the years of sexual abuse.

      I'm talking grabbed from behind with no warning, dragged to the front, surrounded, shoved, hit, punched, pushed to the ground, kicked, all while they screamed at me, 'prayed in tongues', told me how evil i was, and it went on for a long time, all while my 'father' played the piano.

      Churches, no matter what kind, are a bit of a PTSD trigger for me.

      I appreciate the thought. It's just that to make it through GMB's funeral service, I had to take 4mg of clonopin, and still only managed to not bolt because Keori was there to keep me grounded.

      Get 10% off with KATALOGUE2013 at my shop, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

      by LoreleiHI on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:17:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are not easy to convince we are traumatized (16+ / 0-)

        by the mention of a church for help.

        I'm still sweating from reading that original comment.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:27:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so sorry (8+ / 0-)

        That is evil.  I can see how a church could be a PTSD trigger after what happened to you.  

      •  I was glad to meet you at GMB's funeral ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avilyn, mayim

        ... though we could have wished for happier circumstances, and I hope you are able to make the meet-up on April 20 in Portland.

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:29:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lorelei and Horace, I'm not a Christian either.... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ScienceMom, GAladybug, JBL55, PinHole

          ...and I have also had serious problems with homophobes in just about ALL faiths, including my own tradition. But, like my co-religionist Einstein, I have found great comfort and meaning in the teachings that my true Christian friends consider the hallmark of their faith....

          "I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

          Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."

          Lorelei and Horace, you are both damaged goods, as are we all. We have all suffered terrible slights in our lives, you two far more than most of us. And that damage - in your case - has come from people who claim to be Christian and cruelly tried to inflict their brand of religion on you.

          What has happened to you is no different than being robbed and beaten - or being raped. If you were robbed and the robber happened to be black, it would understandable if you feared black folks - you can't control fear. But you would be horribly wrong to hate all black folks and shut them out of your life. And if the person who raped you was a man, it would be just as wrong to hate all men and shut them all out of your life.

          I fully understand your antipathy toward religion, but there are many, many people who will reach out to you - who will throw you a lifeline - because they truly believe God is love. If you meet any of these people, tell them what happened to you, and they may understand what you went through. If they do, they won't sermonize or prostelytize. Love - if it is true - is unconditional.

          This is all very complex. For example, I despise the Catholic church's hypocrisy on gay issues. With their history of sexual assault, they should be the last people on this earth to be crusading against gay rights. But I love my dear Catholic friends - especially the nuns who taught my Down syndrome brother at a Catholic school "for exceptional children." I have many religious Catholic friends, including women religious, and they care more about the poor and gay folks than they do about the Church's politics or its hypocrisy.

          Again, what you need and deserve is more than government is going to provide. It will take courage for you to seek that assistance from the faith community. I am not telling you do reach out them. That is your choice.

          My own faith teaches me that it is our task on this earth to mend that which is torn, and that if we save one life, it is as if we save the entire world.
          (Of course, our ultra-Orthodox are among the worst homophobes) And that is why I am reaching out to you. Not to sell you any religion, but because I feel for another human being, and want to be of help. That's it.

          Forgive me if I come across a preachy, but your situation has saddened me greatly and I want to be of help. And we have much in common, even down to the partial hearing loss and the physical pain of neuropathy. I truly wish you only the best and, above all, peace of mind and happiness in your life.

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