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Everything posted by Abigail

  1. Bramble, you are correct in that regard as well. I would like to be more discplined to the rituals, but I think some of them simply don't have enough meaning to me at this point in my life (at least the daily ones), though I do like the lighting of the candles. Bride, someday I would love to get my hands on the texts containing the debates between the two of them. Unfortunately, at the moment I am left with picking up bits and pieces of the debates via studing other works.
  2. Here's a funny story for you Lindy . . . . My 11 year old son is extremely bright - - smart enough to come up with his own math theory regarding infinity and multiplication when he was only in 2nd or 3rd grade. I don't think his theory was correct, but it was pretty cool that he was interested enough to think it through. Anyway, so my young mathematically and scientifically minded young son says to me one day a few years back, "there is no such thing as god, we evolved." And he proceeds to teach me about the big bang and evolution. I told him that I believed in God, that I have believed in God since I was pretty young and that all I had to do was look around me at the beauty of the world and that was enough to convince me. "But," I told him, "You have your own mind and you are a smart kid, you are capable of making up your own mind about such matters." So for a couple of years he maintained his athiesm and I never argued or debated with him about it. I just continued to respect his right to form his own opinions. Six or eight months ago he comes to me and says, "Mom, I think you are right." (which I so rarely ever hear that I nearly fell off my seat!!! LOL). He went on, "there must be a God because even if evolution is correct, it still had to start somewhere. Something had to create the matter that eventually created this world." Of course he then wanted to know, "If God created the world, then who created God?" HA! That one has a sharp mind!
  3. IF the man on the bus was who I think he may have been - he was raked over the coals pretty good and lost a lot. In reading your story, I would not say he was blameless, but I think post-TWI he may have turned into one of the good guys.
  4. Thanks, Lindy, it is interesting - though some of it seems a little "elementary" to me, which is why I haven't added more to the thread yet. I will though, I am sure once I get past the rather long, introductory stuff it will become more interesting. I agree regarding setting the example by our own actions, to be sure. But, your kids are very young still, yes? Mine are young as well, but not "little" anymore. They are 9 and 11. As they begin to grow more independant and move out into the world a bit more, peer pressure will become an issue. I think at some point it is good for them to have an authority that is even higher than mom and dad, and I prefer that authority to be God. :) In the end, when they are adults I could care less if they chose to be Jewish, Christian, Muslem, agnostic, whatever as long as they have a good moral foundation. But I think, especially for the teens and early 20s a higher power may be necessary. Also, there are some very murky waters for them to tread in this world. Religions, and even what moral values are taught in school often tend to be very black and white, with few shades of grey. This book, it appears, is going to cover at least some of those gray areas. I want to teach them shades of gray. I want to give them examples of instances where things were gray and critical thinking combined with an honest look inside at ones own motives led to a good decision or cases where a lack of critical thinking or a dishonest look at ones own motives led to a bad decision. Those examples are all contained in the Bible. But I am still so stuck (at times) in the black and white thinking of TWI that I often miss them.
  5. Hi T-bone, good to see you. I think I could tanget in several directions from your post, but I'm going to try to stay on topic. I don't believe the "god of the OT" is nearly as harsh as we sometimes believe Him to be from our King James translations and there is much understanding to be found in the Midrash. I do like the practicle. The arguments about the trinity, life after death, etc. can be very fascinating. I love Sunesis' posts on angels and the spirit realm most especially. But in the long run, those topics don't often have much impact on how I live my day to day life, how I make decisions, etc. I want to give the boys a good moral/ethical foundation. They aren't particularly interested in church or temple and I am not convinced that forcing them is going to be much benefit in the long run. I'd rather learn myself so I am prepared to teach them when the teachable moments are there.
  6. Krys, thanks for sharing that with us. I am sorry for the pain your family suffered. The other young man, who was your son's friend, used to post here, I think. I cannot remember what name he used to post under, but he did something very kind for me when I was new here - not even sure I was posting as Abigail yet back then.
  7. I never said, nor implied that Paw was unfair, or even that this issue was an easy one to resolve. Similarly, I am aware that problems occur from both sides of the fence, so to speak. However, some posts, as we have seen in this thread (if they have not been taken down anyway) are very blatantly attacking and disrespectful. Others walk a finer line. In the end, Paw and the moderators will have to decide where and how to draw that line.
  8. You may be suprised at how many of the "defenders" did have face to face contact with VPW. I suspect that has a lot to do with why they find the stories of abuse difficult to believe. Abusers generally don't outwardly look like abusers - else they would never find anyone to prey upon. Instead, they are often very charming and charismatic people. So, if you knew VPW face to face and were not one of his victims, had not witnessed his other side, then it does make it more difficult to believe the stories of people you have never met. Additionally, despite what you, I and many others may think of the PFAL class and other TWI teachings, some here still feel their lives benefited from it. I guess, if it works still for their lives, who am I to force my own beliefs upon them. And finally, as I think we have seen in this thread, some (IMO) lash out at people here with misdirected anger. Perhaps they can't lash out at the ones they should be angry at, perhaps there are layers of denial, whatever the case may be . . . Ultimately I think we should keep our focus on the message and not the messanger, and thus we will be much less like to find ourselves personally attacking them. I think these people must get something out of being here, otherwise why would they continue to post here in the face of all of the adersity they receive? But as has been said before, some guidelines for the "About the Way" forum regarding respect for those who tell of their personal experiences would probably be beneficial.
  9. It isn't that questions were asked, it is HOW they were asked. People can have a tiny bit of respect and if they can't, then perhaps they need to refrain from hitting the "send" button.
  10. Janis, I had hoped you were truly doing better. Obviously you are not well. The people here at Greasespot are not equipped to help you. Not a one of us is a professional. Please, before you hurt someone else, or hurt yourself, log off. Do whatever it is you need to do to help yourself.
  11. Lucy, Dot, ExCathedra, and whoever else was in the room the night VPW talked about his daughters are not responsible for whatever you went through in TWI. Your anger is misdirected. You are blowing up all over the board. Do yourself a favor, take a walk, find something light and fun to do. Or go to a gym and hit a punching bag, go for a run, whatever helps you vent your steam. You have a right to be angry, but you are blaming the wrong people.
  12. That was really cool, Roy! You did a great job putting all of that together. Thanks for sharing it.
  13. Thanks for understanding, Sunesis. I have enjoyed and learned from many of your posts as well, particularly those regarding the angels. I hope you will share more sometime. :)
  14. Then you do know why some women never tell. You told and it didn't stop it. You told and things went from bad to worse. You told and people didn't believe you. You do know - experientially. I can't speak specifically to Dot or Excathedra or any other woman's situation and decisions. However, I would be happy to continue this further with you in private messaging if you would like. Your tone in your initial post did come across as very harsh and very judgmental and that is why I responded the way I did. Especially after all of the discussion and threads we have discussing the topic of respect and compassion, a harsh tone seemed highly inappropriate. However, sometimes we do not come across the way we intend to when posting on the internet. I apologize if I jumped to the wrong conclusion in that regard.
  15. Now that I am done being angry about the tone of your post Lucy, I would suggest you ask yourself this: Who were they going to tell? Who was going to believe them? Hell, I heard the stories about VPW's sexual proclivities when I was in TWI, and that wasn't until 1991. But, such stories were dismissed. Devil spirits attacking the man of gawd, that's all that was about, no truth to them at all. Who in TWI in those days would have believed them? No one. They would have been shipped off (after a verbal dressing down that would have destroyed any sense of self they had left) and never heard from again. The authories? Small town cops in small town Ohio were going to take the word of a couple of young hippie chicks over VPW's? I doubt it.
  16. There are lots of reasons why people don't tell right away, and sometimes never at all, Lucy. These women do not owe you an explanation. They don't. They have to live with themselves and with God. They have to live with the hurt, shame, and humiliation that was inflicted upon them by these men - not you. You have your demons to battle, they have theirs. Above and beyond that, you get angry at them for not telling, and when they do tell they are accused of lying, making it up. How does that help them? Waht difference does it make to tell, if they won't be believed anyway?? Then there is the self-blame, self-doubt, etc. etc. Perhaps you weren't affected by your situation in the same way they were by theirs. Fine. Perhaps you simply live in denial of how you felt in your situation - I don't know. But DO NOT DARE condemn these women. They have been put through enough already!! You are not their judge!!!
  17. Judaism teaches that human nature consists of a good inclination (yetzer hatov) and a bad inclination (yetzer ara). Paul speaks of the same in his writings - (Paraphrased) Oh wretched man that I am, that which I would do, I do not, that which I would not do, that I do. In TWI (and in many of the more fundamental/conservative religious groups) we are taught that we must overcome this evil inclination. In TWI we were to renew our minds, in some branches of Christianity it is taught that "the devil makes us do it" in other branches of Christianity it is tauht that Christ or the holy spirit will change you and remove that evil inclination. My own personal experience with the above viewpoints were that they just don't work. You can "renew your mind" which more or less amounts to faking it or grinning and bearing it. You can condemn yourself as possessed. You can believe you must not be truly "saved" or one of God's children because this evil inclination still dwells within you. (I am generalizing, please understand that. I am also speaking of my own personal experience and not someone elses. Some of these teachings seem to work for other people. I am sure there are also more variations and explanations that just the ones I named above.) In "You Shall Be Holy" a different perspective is offered. The Rabbis teach that the goal should not be to completely destroy the evil incliniaction, because it is this evil inclination that drives our instinct for survival. OUr instinct to earn money to buy food, clothing and shelter with or to have sex and thus reproduce, etc. Instead, suggests the Rabbi's we need to be aware of our own individual evil inclinations and learn how to use them to do good. The expample Rabbi Telushkin uses is of a person who has a strong need to be admired. He suggests, if you have an overly strong need to be admired, then you could do good deeds that you would later gain recognition for. In this way, you are using the need for admiration to help someone else.
  18. It is good to see you Belle!!! I am not just breaking the stereotpes for all of you, but for me as well. My parents did not practice Judaism and for the most part were not raised to practice it in any orthodox sense. Their parents were, and the only thing that was really passed down to me it terms of what Judaism was about - was that it was very strict and difficult to practice. For the past few years, I have been learning otherwise. Yes, if one is to be orthodox, there it can be very difficult in this society we live in, but one does not HAVE to be orthodox. :) With respect to the rituals - that is one of the things I am hoping the book may answer, at least with regard to Judaism. I do know some/many of the rituals are symbolic - they are to remind us of something. Others, such as the laws regarding kosher foods, are often related to taking care of the animals and planet we live on. For instance, kosher meats are to be slaughtered in a very specific way, so as to cause the least amount of pain and suffering to the animal.
  19. I just picked up a book by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin calld "You Shall be Holy - A Code of Jewish Ethics." It is an interesting read so far and I thought I would post some tidbits for those who may be interested in discussing it with me. I want to open with a quote from Rabbi Hillel. Some of you may find it interesting to know that Hillel lived and taught during Jesus' lifetime. He is considered to be one of the most famous and important leaders within the Jewish community, regardless of what sect (orthodox, reform, etc.). He studied and eventual founded a school in Jerusalem. It is entirely possible that Jesus and some of the apostles (Paul perhaps?) studied his teachings. His teachings had such a tremendous impact that the heads of the Sanhedren resigned due to his teachings, and he was considered to be the highest authority among the pharisees. One of the things he is particularly well known for is the saying, "What is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor: This is the whole Torah! The rest is commentary. Now, go and study." You may find there is a familiar ring to that, no? Despite what many think about Judaism, the laws and rituals, there are many many verses in the OT that emphasize the notion that God would rather have us live ethical lives than perform rituals. This line of thought is also emphasized within the Midrash, which teaches that the commandments of the Torah were give to mankind to refine people and also that "the purpose of life is to strive to break bad habits and improve oneself. Otherwise, what is life for?" I will close this opening post with this quote from the book, which is orginally from Tanna D'Bei Eliyahu, a midrashic work: "I bring heaven and earth to witness that the Holy Spirit dwells upon a non-Jew as well as upon a Jew, upon a woman as well as upon a man, upon a maidservant as well as a manservant. All depends on the deeds of the particular individual"
  20. WD, you completely avoided the latter part of my question. If the in-laws referred to OJ as a murder, would you debate proper English/terminology with them? Would you correct them and say "alleged murderer" or "in your opinion murderer?"
  21. I agree with you 100% in this regard. I'd like to add, we cannot expect that someone fresh out of TWI is going to come here having already shed themselves of everything they believed while in TWI. People who are newly out, in particular, are going to be "pro" at least to some degree.
  22. WD - how about O.J. Now there's an interesting situation, no? He was found innocent in criminal court, yet he was convicted in civil court. So, can we refer to him as guilty of murder???? Quite a dilemna, no? And why? Why was he found innocent in one and guilty in another? Well, lets see, there's diffents standards of proof between the two for starters. But there were also different judges, different attorneys presenting the evidence against him, and probably there was evidence allowed and disallowed on one court and not the other. But, even if OJ had never been tried in civil court, I would still be free to opinine that he was guilty. Not only that, but here at the cafe, I could be free to post, "OJ is a murderer who should not be free to walk the streets." And I could post it without adding "alleged" or "IMO". Indeed, his former in-laws could come here and do the same. Now, you are free to believe otherwise, but do you think it would really be a kindness to his in-laws to correct their use of the English language by telling them they should add "IMO" or "alleged?"
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