I Want To Tread Very Carefully With This Topic

SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
But there's a post I've been reading that's making me really sad, and it brings up something that I just have to ask.


Does religion limit our happiness? I'm not talking about faith, now. I really mean religion.

Please don't get me wrong. I know that for some people their faith and religion is very important and fulfilling. I know that there are very religious people who are very happy. But what happens they are faced with a difficult challenge that prayer isn't helping?

A hypothetical: Say your husband is beating the crap out of you and you're a very religious person. Say he refuses counseling. Say you go to counseling and you're doing all you can with the help of your minister/priest or therapist but because you're husband is doing nothing to help himself, he's still beating the crap out of you. Say your religion doesn't allow for a divorce. What then? You're just supposed to pray to make it stop, continue to go to therapy without your husband, and hope God looks out for you?

Is there a way out that I don't know about, a loophole somewhere that makes it okay to leave for your safety?

As I said, this is a hypothetical situation, but I know that situations like this and others must be out there. And if someone relying solely on their religion for their beliefs, how can they ever get out of a situation where they might be unhappy or their emotional well being is in serious jeopardy.

I really don't mean to bash anyone or anyone's religion, but I've been pondering this for a while and I'm wondering about your thoughts.
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Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



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Comments

  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Heh,

    I was wondering this myself, as you may've guessed. S'pose the post that's making you sad is mine? I understand. As for your orginal question, sometimes I think the answer is yes...If I'm understanding your distinction between religion and faith correctly.

    But what's the alternative?
  • nextmovenextmove Registered Users Posts: 686
    I think the alternative is to realize we are able to think for ourselves and do just that.

    I'm not religious at all and I can't understand being miserable when one doesn't have to be.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
    I was going to say that I think the alternative might be to find a religion that fits better with your faith.

    (does that make sense?)
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    Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Registered Users Posts: 4,476 Curl Connoisseur
    Your hypothetical is my former roommate's reality.
    It was pointed out to her that separation is not divorce, and definitely she should at the very least separate herself and her children from the abusive husband. No one should stay in an abusive marriage.
    Once out of the home and safe she can make better decisions. Her energy isn't wrapped up in avoiding his rage.
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • IndianCurlsIndianCurls Registered Users Posts: 54
    [edited]

    I read the post you were referring to and realized my reply didn't even come close to answering your question.
    Black, shoulder length 3B

    Law Student at Wayne State University, Class of 2010
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Registered Users Posts: 4,476 Curl Connoisseur
    You probably were looking for people who are religious to answer your question, but though I am not religious I have several friends who are Christian and I know how they would answer;

    If, hypothetically, your husband was beating the crap out of you and you pray to God for him to stop and he doesn't, and there is no other way out, then you accept the situation as a lesson that God is teaching you, and know that you will receive salvation in Heaven. Knowing this, you would pray for your husband to be forgiven by God and to receive salvation.

    Usually people who pray to a god do not expect for God Himself to fix their problems for them, but to give them the strength to fix their own problems. So for example, prayer might give you the initiative to go to a domestic abuse shelter for women. If you die before then, that means that God has forgiven you for your sins and wants you to join him in Heaven.

    I believe there is a bible verse that addresses this very situation, but I can't remember it right now.
    What?! I'd really like to know that verse.
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Registered Users Posts: 5,633 Curl Connoisseur
    Springcurl wrote:
    Say your religion doesn't allow for a divorce. What then? You're just supposed to pray to make it stop, continue to go to therapy without your husband, and hope God looks out for you?

    Most religions would still allow you to leave such a terrible spouse. Some would go so far as to let you get a divorce, as long as you waited until he died to remarry.

    So I would say if your religion didn't allow for a divorce (and this mattered to you), get the heck out and live a separate life. Not the best solution but in years past, this is how it was for many couples.

    PSA: I don't agree with anything I posted above, just giving springcurl some info.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
    So the answer is yes, then? Religion can limit happiness?

    I mean-- and again, not wanting to offend anyone-- for me I truly do believe that religion (not faith) can be extremely limiting. But I know also that people do get a lot out of their religion.

    I just wonder what happens when something comes up that your religion says no way and every fiber of your being is telling you the opposite?
    TWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gif

    Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    But the above advice assumes that I'm not following a religion I believe in. I believe it - even if I don't always understand it.

    I guess what I'm seeking is truth - not just the religion that makes me happy for the moment. You know what they say, sometimes the truth hurts.

    By contrast, I look at a religion like Kabbalah, which was all the rage among celebs like Madonna for a while. I'm not personally very familiar with it but I hear that it largely sanctions celebs' bad behavior (why I don't know). And I think that's mighty convenient when you're rich, famous and drug addled (or just sleazy like Madonna and the Britster) to convert to a religion that allows all of this. Makes things real easy on the ole conscience. Why bother having a religion if it doesn't call us to stretch ourselves and summon spiritual strength we never knew we had?

    Thanks for starting this thread, BTW. I think it's a good question.
  • scrillsscrills Registered Users Posts: 6,700
    This has been heavy on my mind with my friend's suicide. I can't image what it feels like to feel like what makes you happy is not what God wants you to have. I always thought he was exaggerating, but when those people called me, it was like they were on their way to drink the kool-aid. (i shouldn't say that, but they made me so mad)

    It makes me very said when people get so trapped in the letter of the word that they can't see the spirit of the word.
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Registered Users Posts: 5,297 Curl Neophyte
    I don't believe we are supposed to allow ourselves to be stuck in a situation b/c we feel like we're leaving it in God's hands. I don't think it's God's job to push us in the right direction. He gave us the ability of reason, and to make decisions, and I think we're supposed to use that.

    I believe you're supposed to pray for help in finding the correct way, but I think that it's part of our life, and experience in this world to make a decision for ourselves, and be responsible for that.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Registered Users Posts: 5,633 Curl Connoisseur
    Springcurl wrote:
    So the answer is yes, then? Religion can limit happiness?

    Well, gosh, people fight WARS over religion so I would say yes, religion can limit happiness.

    Also, religion can cause conflicts within families. For instance let's say your religion is strongly anti homosexual and your son is gay. Because of your religious beliefs, you may say hurtful things to your son. In this case, religion has limited someone's happiness, yours and his.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Springcurl wrote:
    So the answer is yes, then? Religion can limit happiness?

    Well, gosh, people fight WARS over religion so I would say yes, religion can limit happiness.

    Also, religion can cause conflicts within families. For instance let's say your religion is strongly anti homosexual and your son is gay. Because of your religious beliefs, you may say hurtful things to your son. In this case, religion has limited someone's happiness, yours and his.

    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    But the above advice assumes that I'm not following a religion I believe in. I believe it - even if I don't always understand it.

    You're right. I'm sorry about that.

    And I truly don't want this thread to be about you because I don't want you to feel attacked at all. I'm glad you understand it's just a question I'm pondering.
    TWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gif

    Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



  • KaiaKaia Registered Users Posts: 8,815 Curl Connoisseur
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    But religion in itself doesn't really exist without people practicing it, does it? If nobody practices a religion anymore, we call it mythology not religion. I agree that some people use religion to further their own agendas (and those people are a problem to all of us, religious or not), but religion is what motivates many people to do things in its name (whether they be right or wrong). I don't think you can really separate religion from its followers.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Springcurl wrote:
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    But the above advice assumes that I'm not following a religion I believe in. I believe it - even if I don't always understand it.

    You're right. I'm sorry about that.

    And I truly don't want this thread to be about you because I don't want you to feel attacked at all. I'm glad you understand it's just a question I'm pondering.

    No prob. No apologies needed.

    Best,

    K
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Registered Users Posts: 8,002
    babywavy wrote:
    I don't believe we are supposed to allow ourselves to be stuck in a situation b/c we feel like we're leaving it in God's hands. I don't think it's God's job to push us in the right direction. He gave us the ability of reason, and to make decisions, and I think we're supposed to use that.

    I believe you're supposed to pray for help in finding the correct way, but I think that it's part of our life, and experience in this world to make a decision for ourselves, and be responsible for that.

    I think that's faith.

    But what if you pray and ask for God's help to make the right decision for you, you come to your conclusion, but it's outside your religion?

    This is where it gets tricky to me.
    TWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gifTWINKLES.gif

    Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Bailey422 wrote:
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    But religion in itself doesn't really exist without people practicing it, does it? If nobody practices a religion anymore, we call it mythology not religion. I agree that some people use religion to further their own agendas (and those people are a problem to all of us, religious or not), but religion is what motivates many people to do things in its name (whether they be right or wrong). I don't think you can really separate religion from its followers.

    That's sort of like asking, "If a tree falls in the woods, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

    Religion may be (may be) defined by its followers, but truth isn't.

    Truth just is.
  • IndianCurlsIndianCurls Registered Users Posts: 54
    You probably were looking for people who are religious to answer your question, but though I am not religious I have several friends who are Christian and I know how they would answer;

    If, hypothetically, your husband was beating the crap out of you and you pray to God for him to stop and he doesn't, and there is no other way out, then you accept the situation as a lesson that God is teaching you, and know that you will receive salvation in Heaven. Knowing this, you would pray for your husband to be forgiven by God and to receive salvation.

    Usually people who pray to a god do not expect for God Himself to fix their problems for them, but to give them the strength to fix their own problems. So for example, prayer might give you the initiative to go to a domestic abuse shelter for women. If you die before then, that means that God has forgiven you for your sins and wants you to join him in Heaven.

    I believe there is a bible verse that addresses this very situation, but I can't remember it right now.
    What?! I'd really like to know that verse.

    I'm sorry, I was in no way implying that the Bible condones domestic abuse; I was referring to a bible verse that talks about forgiveness, specifically forgiving a husband that has been beating you. I was having a discussion about this topic a while ago with my friend who is Christian, and she quoted the Bible.
    Black, shoulder length 3B

    Law Student at Wayne State University, Class of 2010
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Registered Users Posts: 5,633 Curl Connoisseur
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    I can't separate the two. The people find their instruction from what they are taught by their religious leaders and they follow it.

    People can be very sheepish when it comes to religion, so in that sense, yes, I would say it's the people. But they receive their instruction from somewhere!

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • scrillsscrills Registered Users Posts: 6,700
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    I can't separate the two. The people find their instruction from what they are taught by their religious leaders and they follow it.

    People can be very sheepish when it comes to religion, so in that sense, yes, I would say it's the people. But they receive their instruction from somewhere!

    and sometimes that place is the leader of the church, not God
  • dia99dia99 Registered Users Posts: 1,998
    I think a lot of things about this question, though I haven't read the thread that spun this one. I just finished organizing and putting on a "religious" bazaar at my church that has had me up since 3 am this morning, so I am quite certain that religion doesn't always make you happy. :lol: Since I'm tired, this may not make as much sense as I'd like it to, but here goes:

    If my friend were actually going through physical, emotional, psychological abuse, I would counsel her/him to seek therapy and get to a safe place. I wouldn't be talking about divorce during that time, and I don't think Jesus' example shows that He would either. Healing first, life changes to be determined. :D I think God wants us to experience joy and peace, and to respect our temples. Allowing that kind of garbage in or on your person is definitely not respecting the temple God has given us, imo.

    If children are involved, I think it's unfair to them for the abused party to stay. Yes, I think the abused party has a responsibility to herself/himself, but more importantly to any children who are affected by these situations. We are the victims of that cycle of abuse, too, and we face repercussions into adulthood. As the parent, you get the therapy or support even if only so your children won't have to.

    My general thoughts about your general question, if anyone is interested --

    -I think that joy is more important than happiness.

    -I think that God wants us to have real joy and peace in our lives, and that happiness is the stepping stone to real joy. So, I do think that God wants us to experience happiness also, but that it isn't the main course, nor will we always experience it regardless of adherence or non-adherence to a religion.

    -I do believe that there are aspects of religion (all religion, but I will specifically speak to Christianity since I'm a Christian) that are much more constraining/confining than what God either wrote or my own study/reason says He intended in his Word.

    -I honestly believe that the people who put those manmade rules or interpretations of the actual Bible in place, however misguided some of them may be, did so with good intentions. That doesn't mean I feel constrained to operate by all or any of them.

    -I think that these type of questions and conversations always lead back to personal relationships with or faith in your Higher Power. In whatever *religion* you follow, it should have its foundation in your own very real beliefs. If it does, it might and probably will be difficult sometimes. But, if your conscious/spirit/soul/instinct tells you it's the right thing, you're *obeying* (or following that *inner voice*) for that reason - not because an external group made up some rules.

    -I don't think it's helpful to look at individual "what ifs" in this type of question. People's individual circumstances will always be different, just as there is not one religious answer to any of the specific questions asked out there, even those that seem clear to me in Scripture. As a Christian, I see that God didn't answer every single question we might have in life in the Bible. If He did, no one who believed in Him would need any faith.

    So, I think that true religion is following and adhering to a set of beliefs or practices you are led to believe by God (in may case). It is not my church, though I go there as one piece of the set. It is not any individual rules or regulations, though I have some of those as other pieces of the set. It's not who I hang out with or where I go, though my religion will naturally constrain some of that, too.

    Religion is my adherence to the beliefs/revelations I have received from God. It is also my diligent seeking of more information, more knowledge, more wisdom to be able to apply the knowledge. That way, any individual circumstances that come my way I can trust that if God has not provided me with definite answers in His word, I can go to him for myself and "rightly divide the word of truth" to figure out what He would have me to do. I can seek out wise counsel from other trusted friends with good judgment who may or may not be Christian, as long as I know that what they say lines up with my interpretation of Scripture. I can do that and still know that He might and probably has impressed very different answers on others in the past.
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • JuicyTubeJuicyTube Registered Users Posts: 2,369
    Everything is mind over matter.
    3b-3c CG
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Registered Users Posts: 5,633 Curl Connoisseur
    scrills wrote:
    Kimshi42 wrote:
    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    I can't separate the two. The people find their instruction from what they are taught by their religious leaders and they follow it.

    People can be very sheepish when it comes to religion, so in that sense, yes, I would say it's the people. But they receive their instruction from somewhere!

    and sometimes that place is the leader of the church, not God

    I think more often than not, this is true.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Registered Users Posts: 17,502 Curl Neophyte
    Springcurl wrote:
    Does religion limit our happiness? I'm not talking about faith, now. I really mean religion.

    I think that it can. I switched to a religion that, for me, made more logical sense because I do believe that religious rules can be implemented (misimplemented?) in such a way to limit our happiness/joy/soulfullness at the expense of following rules to the letter.
    Kiva! Microfinance works.

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  • NetGNetG Registered Users Posts: 8,116
    I think it depends how you're defining religion.

    If you're talking the fundamental documents you use as a basis for the religion, I don't think religion in itself limits happiness.


    If you're talking religious leaders who claim to be the be-all, end-all definition of what the religion is? Quite often.

    I'm a firm believe that humans interpreting a religion, no matter what guidance they think they have, tend to make mistakes.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Registered Users Posts: 15,402 Curl Neophyte
    Springcurl wrote:
    Does religion limit our happiness? I'm not talking about faith, now. I really mean religion.

    It can. I think the religion we practice (if you practice a religion) is a reflection of the state of your mind, character and personality. There's a religious sect for almost every type of personality. If you are a revenge/brimstone/fire type you'll find a religion that fits you. If you think homosexuality is a sin, you'll find a religion and a congregation that fits you. If you think God includes everyone in his loving embrace and that everyone is welcome to commune with him, you'll find a religion and congregation to fit that belief.
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  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Registered Users Posts: 5,766 Curl Connoisseur
    Springcurl wrote:
    Does religion limit our happiness? I'm not talking about faith, now. I really mean religion.

    It can. I think the religion we practice (if you practice a religion) is a reflection of the state of your mind, character and personality. There's a religious sect for almost every type of personality. If you are a revenge/brimstone/fire type you'll find a religion that fits you. If you think homosexuality is a sin, you'll find a religion and a congregation that fits you. If you think God includes everyone in his loving embrace and that everyone is welcome to commune with him, you'll find a religion and congregation to fit that belief.

    I agree.
  • sarasarasarasara Registered Users Posts: 1,561
    If,for example,my husband is beating the crap out of me and refuses to stop,while I'm not doing anything wrong,and my religion refuses to divorce me,I'll just get a divorce wheather its ok with my religion or not.

    I might be saying that because I can get a divorce in my religion,even if my husband does not beat me up,and therefore feel its ok to divorce since my religion says so.


    If I was as attached to the religion that doesn't allow me to divorce though,I might not say that.I don't know what I'd do or think at that point.Maybe I'll just get a divorce even if it wasn't allowed,or maybe I'll just think God is rewarding me for waiting.

    Also,for example,in Islam people say that every little thing forbidden has a good reason for it.What would be the reason for me not getting a divorce?Do I feel its right?Does it make sense?Is keeping my kids in one family with them watching me getting beat up better than them living in a broken but peaceful family?....etc

    With that,I have to say there are many things I should be and shouldn't be doing with my releigion.There are soooooooooo many sins in Islam that I think even the best people on Earth sin so many times each day,and God knows best.I can get a sin by just cursing someone,I can get a huge sin by just cursing someone's parents.Why?They would then curse my parents,and I should know that cursing someone's parents would lead them to cursing mine,and I should never do that,I should always treat my parents with the utmost respect and make sure to keep any negative things away from them.

    Cursing you own parents is a bigger sin than pre-marital sex.

    How about dropping a gum wrapper on the floor?Yes,also a sin.

    Why?Haven't really got written evidence,but it could be because someone might slip and fall on it,also could be that you're not keeping "your country clean."


    Covering hair in Islam.Does it have a reason I believe in?Yes. Am I doing it?No.

    Maybe I would feel the same way about divorce?Maybe I would get it then even if it wasn't allowed?

    Not saying that God knows best after all what I've said.After all I've said and explained about my religion,I should always say that God knows best.And God really knows best.I could have said many wrong things and erred in explaining.

    After all, Muslims believe that an Aetheist (or Jewish-not sure,heard the story both ways) went to Heaven because she fed a cat (or dog-not sure).

    And a very good Muslim went to Hell because he wouldn't feed a cat (or dog-can't remember either.)


    So who knows-I could be good all my life and go to Hell.In fact,Muslims believe that almost everyone is going to have to go to Hell for sometime before going to Heaven.The time they stay in Hell depends o their actions.People never know who went to Heaven and who went to Hell.They don't because only God knows.

    I think many people know that they are sinning daily.I know there are many wrong things I do daily.I know many of the things do have a reason for being wrong.Cursing,having fights with my mom...etc...but still I'm doing them,and probably will.I'm not ready to cover my hair now,even though I believe in the reason behind it.I hope someday I will,but for now I can't bring myself to.

    I have no idea where I'm going.I don't cover my hair and wear ankle length skirts but I also don't act like the girls who cover their hair,swear tight tight clothes,stick thier boobs out,put on lotssss of make up,and have males gawking at my boobs the whole time,which defies the purpose of "covering up." I should cover up so that I'll be respected,that no one would look at me as an object,ór in other words,won't make men in the street want to have sex with me.

    I feel that the girls who cover their hair and wear tight shirt and pants while they alreay have a very full figure and stick out their bright red lips and huge boobs out are attracting more attention than me.I consider myself to be better than them.People in the street consider me to be better than them.My friends consider me to be better than them.The community itself as a whole considers me the "good girl" and them the "bad girls," even though they do cover up their hair and don't wear short skirts.How does religion see this?I'm not sure-The purpose of covering up is so that you get respected-the last thing these girls were getting.I got more respect than them.

    And God knows best.
  • sarasarasarasara Registered Users Posts: 1,561
    Well, gosh, people fight WARS over religion so I would say yes, religion can limit happiness.

    Also, religion can cause conflicts within families. For instance let's say your religion is strongly anti homosexual and your son is gay. Because of your religious beliefs, you may say hurtful things to your son. In this case, religion has limited someone's happiness, yours and his.

    Uh, is that the religion that causes all of this? Or is it the people practicing the religion?

    I'd say it's the people.

    I don't think religion makes you say hurtful things.Religion might make you disagree with that person being a homosexual,but it shouldn't make you say hurtful things.

    I can only speak about my own religion here.I know that people are straying very far away from what my original religion is about-including myself.I doubt that the Prophet (PBUH) would ever say any hurtful thing to a homosexual,the way people do now.he would disagree with it,and would calmly try to talk to people out of it,but if they would want to stay that way,he would not yell rude things to them on the street and such.

    However,the people now want everything to be perfect,and everyone to be good,that they resort to such actions because they don't want their kids,children...etc to flloow the "wrong path." They might be rude and go overboard,and do things that they are not supposed to do,so that the don't "disrespect their religion."


    My religion is not supposed to be what seems to be now.Islam actually also comes from "peace," but that is the last thing people think of today when they think about Muslims.My religion never told us to put bombs in traines or ride airplanes through buildings.

    My religion never told us that women should not work,should not divorce,should not study...etc.And although this is not evident in my area,it might be in some other Muslim regions in Africa and usually in poorer areas.

    It's not the religion's fault that people are brainless.

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