Saturday, August 11, 2012

My recent experience with a "welcoming" group. . .

I was told there was a woman's online group that was welcoming and supportive, run by mostly woman that I know through a community support group that has so far been about unbiased education of pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and parenting choices.  So I joined up a few months ago. Well, give woman an unstructured atmosphere to "support" someone else, and their biases quickly surface.

 The rules of the group were that there was to be no soliciting on their wall, yet I started seeing the administrators even put out recommendations for Christian books! (And just to make sure that they could convince you of their thoughts, they were giving the books away! Watch out when someone is desperate enough to give away their books.)

So, ever being the Devil's advocate, I asked, if it would be OK if I was a Muslim recommending a extreme Islamic parenting book or homeschooling book as a helpful tool to the group? My comment was quickly removed, and I was told that they would have to pray about that with the fellow administrators. Then and there I knew I was fighting a loosing battle. I was told that they felt the best and only way to support woman, was with scripture. So while "they were welcoming to everyone", they would not allow me equal rights of speech in this "open support group" if it conflicted with their religion. I told her that the best way I have found to support woman is to educate them past religious prejudice and judgmentalism of Scriptural superstitious beliefs. . .opening their lives to self acceptance and responsibility. And if I am not free to share my opinions kindly, along with anyone else, like was previously agreed upon almost unanimously in the group (before it was discussing anything religious,) then I will consider myself not welcomed there.

Now, she was convinced that she was welcoming me, as well as any church welcomes in the sinners! She even convinced herself that she was unashamedly being a witness for Jesus and standing for truth, to be controlling my free speech. Was I nasty? No. I simply put it as a question to make people consider. Being that I have lost my group now for that defense of a group (Muslims) that I do not even belong to, yet again, does that not count as persecution? That's how it usually goes for Agnostics and Atheists. We don't stand up for our "faith" and get poorly treated, we just ask that all religions and people have the same rights to their beliefs. Standing with the underdog, whether you are one or not, you often get taken down by bullies. Down through history the worst of the bullies have been those who believed in one true God, as that is proud, judgmental, and just asking for a fight from anyone who has a different one or more gods.

Don't believe me? Ancient Greeks worshiped a deity they called "Agnostos Theos", (Probably the place Agnostic came from) that is: the "Unknown god" and were very accepting and tolerant of new god's because of that. In the days after Jesus supposedly went to Heaven, Paul was able to convert many of the open minded Greeks because of that. Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
 Paul had a good point in how ignorant it was to worship a God you don't even know exists, and yet, I see the same thing being done by all religious people still today. . .give me proof, or keep your thoughts to your self!

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