Re: Religious Shock
As someone whose brother was abused by a Catholic priest, I am sickened over how people can use God to ruin people's lives
Me too, though people use lots of things to ruin people's lives, this is just one other thing, so I'm not any more sickened than I would be seeing lives ruined under other precidences.
Instinctively yes, I feel worse seeing their lives ruined. This is mostly a genetically programmed instinctive emotion however. Looking at it rationally, people's lives being ruined is equally bad no matter who you are. If you think about it, if you're older you probably got all your money stolen by the Family so that'd be pretty bad since you worked hard to accumulate it. I do however think the expression 'ruin lives' to be overdramatic, like what is 'ruin' exactly? It's certainly not the end of life after all. I think instead of 'ruin' (to me, ruins are things destroyed, uninhabitable, unrepairable) a term like 'fuck with' would be more accurate. Basically, they do inappropriate stuff in an inappropriate way, but I think so long as you remain alive you can recover and live well, so these people's lives are not ruined, they can be happy again.
I am shocked by what I have read here regarding the systematic abuse of children
You must have been pretty sheltered then, I've read of worse stuff. I guess it depends on where you get your news.
My experiences with the Catholic Church has caused me to lose all faith in God, Spirituality, and Religion.
Good, faith is irrational. Of course, going by the rationality of faith, you really shouldn't be losing it just because man fails you. Man is imperfect, they may beguile you by misprepresenting god or presenting it to you incompetantly and not answering questions properly. If you desire faith (some people do) then you could go look for a religion that could (by itself or through its members) convince you to have it in it.
I hope I don't offend anyone but I just see religion as an excuse for abusive people to control their victims.
Hm, well I'm not offended (people shouldn't be offended by others' feelings after all) but I would disagree. Religion is certainly a tool used consciously and/or unconsciously to control others and abuse the power it ives over them. That being said, that is certainly not the only purpose for religion, and I really don't think these are the motives EVERYONE in religion has. If they were, they would certainly be very incredibly unconscious, as I cannot contemplate people being comfortable with the inkling that they might act such a way. In fact, such people punish themselves and try to become better to avoid such temptations to use religion over others, because many humans have a moral compass very independant of religion that will act in its stead if they lose faith in it and use it as a social tool.
Does anyone else feel their spiritual life has decayed in the face of power-hungry, perverted criminals posing as priests or prophets? I want to cry for my brother, for other victims, but mostly for my lost of faith.
Nope, the religious officials I've dealt with (no priests or prophets personally) were all quite nice people and I feel very genuinely dedicated to serving their communities and being patriarchs. I have to admit, I've had my moments (and still do, and I don't discard them) where I think "what if they're really like this..." due to respecting their intelligence and eloquence and as such, being perplexed by the idea of them legitimately believing in such absurdities when they have studied them for so long and so indepth as is required of them to be certified in their ministry.