Popular Posts

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Have you ever wondered why some people are abusive and others are not? Have you ever wondered where the roots of abuse came from? Abuse is a learned behavior handed down generation to generation. Why? Think about your parents or perhaps the ones who raised you. Raise is an interesting word. Did they raise you or did they rear you? The English language has some interesting interpretations. I don’t think we would ever say “my parents taught me up.” But that is exactly what parents do.

Parents are a baby’s first role model. Second are their siblings or other members of the family group followed by peers or playmates. Fourth would be religion followed by school. However, religion and family are intertwined with some having more influence than the other. I will begin with the parents. How was the mother treated by the father? How was the father treated by the mother? Was there fighting. Was there drinking? What were their attitudes towards each other?

Next, did they have prejudices against other people or ethnic groups? What were the words they used when discussing other people? Did they use profanity? What and who did they condemn? What kind of a role model were the parents putting forth? Most of us do not know what goes on in other people’s homes. If the abuse is blatant, then we might become aware of it. There is an insidious form of abuse that is psychological and it can be in the form of verbal abuse.

Religion fosters abuse because they take away a person’s freedom of choice. In Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, he writes of a Hell House created by Pastor Keenan Roberts in Arvada, Colorado. Reportedly plays are put on to show and let people experience what hell is like. The only thing is that there is no hell. It was created by man and perpetuated by religion. The only hell there is – is what is created in the mind. This is a form of abuse to the mind and to create fear. Fear is the emotion that drives people to be abusive not only to others, but to themselves as well. Fear keeps people enslaved.

The Catholic Church has a history of abuse from sexual abuse by priests and punishment by nuns such as the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. A movie has been made about this situation where nuns virtually kidnapped women who became their slaves in the Magdalene laundries. There is also evidence that Jewish children were taken away from their parents to raise as Catholics in the 19th century. In addition there was the witch hunts conducted by not only Catholics but Protestants as well. The abuses throughout history are a matter of record with the majority of the abused being women and children. This is not to say that women haven’t also been abusers and there is no excuse for them to be.

One only has to read the Old Testament and learn that it is full of violence such as in Deuteronomy 13:6, 8-15 where one is told to …”but you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death…” followed by…”You shall stone him to death with stones…” In the New Testament, Matthew 5:18-20 it tells that “… unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In Thessalonians 1:6-9, “God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you…” and there are many more verses similar to the above quoted that indicate that the God of the Bible is neither just nor fair. Imagine the load of guilt placed on the believers.

Even the Koran tells the men that if they died for Allah that they will be rewarded with virgins in heaven. Virgins? There was a protest march by Muslims in London last year and the signs were filled with hatred towards the West. Is it no wonder we have wars, rape and atrocities against women and children? Is it no wonder we have a world filled with guilt-ridden people?

It is also an abuse to change a culture by forcing a foreign religion upon them. Here in the U.S. this has happened to the American Indians. Through religious influence, children were taken away from their parents and homes and sent off to boarding schools in order to bring them in alignment with the established white culture. In Africa, young boys were taken away from their tribes and forced into a Catholic boarding school. In Hawaii Protestant missionaries attempted to change the native Hawaiian spiritual beliefs into alignment with Christianity as practiced by the missionaries. This is also a form of abuse. This is all in addition to war, rape, and other atrocities committed primarily on women and children.

Self-condemnation and self-abuse are the same. Based on fear, some people turn to drugs, alcohol, and among young girls and boys there is an epidemic of ‘cutting.’ This is taking a sharp instrument and cutting oneself in order to bleed. The cutting is usually not deep and the purpose of cutting is to let out the pain held inside. This is self-mutilation. In some African countries girls undergo genital mutilation from ages 3 to 10. Abuse is rampant whether it is perpetuated by the individual on self or by others.

Isn’t it about time for each of us to fess up to our own contributions to abuse? Once we recognize that we are contributors, we then can make choices not to participate. Abuse is now a choice. Isn’t it about time that we each realized that we are one piece of the Quilt of God? We were each created at the same time and I am not talking about the body. I am writing about the spiritual essence that inhabits our brain/body and that supersedes any religious dogmas. It is time for us to forgive ourselves and begin to live according to the true nature of God that lives within us.
God is not something outside the individual. It is time to look around and observe the suppression of humanity and the dogmas to keep God outside of the individual.

It is time for each of us to deprogram our selves and to be aware of how we treat others. It is important to allow others to be different and not to put our beliefs on them. It is time to take action. We are a rainbow of God's Quilt and together we all make a gorgeous portrait. Each of us can make a difference by saying 'no more!' to abuse in any form.