Personal responsibility

Skimming through my blog list I ran across this gem from Cookie. “Spiritual abuse, double standards and changing times”

“And no, I’m not trying to cause trouble…

because I for one believe in our freedoms…

those very freedoms that men and woman have been dying for since before 1776.

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from tyranny…and freedom from being bullied because I will not hide that I am a Christian.”

Amen.   Freedom means freedom for all of us.

“Just as I don’t care if a Jew, a Buddhist, a Pagan or even me, the Christian, puts a bumper sticker on a car…becasue we are free to do so—I think we call that freedom of speech.

I’ve even seen offensive ‘F’ word bumper stickers that I find highly offensive…

but that whole freedom thing doesn’t give a didly that I’m offended.”

Ah yes, I have to remind myself from time to time, they have a right to free speech/expression the same as I do – even if I think they are blithering idiots.

Then she linked to this: What is Spiritual Abuse.

“In a world of ‘safe spaces’ it appears that no space is safe. So it was with interest and a degree of concern that I heard of a new term about to be added to our legal vocabulary. As well as sex abuse, child abuse, racial abuse, hate crime abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse and domestic abuse, we now have ‘spiritual abuse’ (SA).

Organisations like the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) have been raising the profile of SA and seeking to get it recognised as a legal category. Surely that should be a good thing? Abuse is manipulation, bullying, exploitation and misuse of power. When that happens in religious circles then surely it should be dealt with? So why has the Evangelical Alliance produced a report that is highly critical of the term?

They are not seeking to defend practices such as ‘heavy shepherding’, brainwashing or emotional and physical abuse which uses God or religious texts as a pretext for such abuse. But they do question the case put forward by the CCPAS, Dr Lisa Oakley and Jayne Ozanne, an Anglican gay rights activist, that SA should be a separate offence defined by the following categories –

  1. Be ‘justified’ by appeal to the divine, or to one or more sacred texts defined as having divine authority;
  2. be enacted by people associated in their role or function as religious, and
  3. take place in settings identified in one way or another as religious.

In 2017 Ozanne presented a paper to the Royal College of Psychiatrists entitled Spiritual Abuse – The Next Great Scandal for the Church which set alarm bells ringing, not least because of the implied threat to criminalise those taught the Bible’s view on sexual morality and those who encouraged being baptised in the Spirit and charismatic gifts.”

Wow. People are trying to set up laws to protect themselves (yeah, they claim it is for others, but let’s be real here) from Spiritual Abuse, but they don’t seem to be able to define what Spiritual Abuse is.

“But the real danger here is that all this talk of spiritual abuse is in itself likely to lead to real abuse. It is a controlling measure. It is designed to intimidate, manipulate and bully. Jayne Ozanne wants the government ‘to recognise Spiritual Abuse as a formal category of harm’. But what is spiritual abuse?”

And that is the money line. Control.  Making others bend to your will.  Forbid them from offending you.


As I was thinking about this article I remembered something I read the other day. “Safe Space”

“At first glance, this long-ish post will seem to be a little unrelated to my usual topics. But it does apply in many different ways, since self-defense and self-care and conflict resolution are all very closely linked. And since anyone who owns a gun and carries one in public for personal protection might sometimes need to come to grips with the effect our choices have on others. Do the people around us have a “right” to feel comfortable with our choices? Do we have a moral obligation to limit our choices to only those that help others feel comfortable? These are some bedrock issues in many ways.”

I noticed some similarities.

Okay, I can see and smell the smoke. Ah, Kat, one blog is about religion the other is about guns, how on earth do you see similarities?

Both (well all three really) are dealing with something that no one wants to talk about these days: personal responsibility.

Too many people today want someone else to protect them. Too many times I have seen some variation of “this offends me, it should be not allowed”.

Heh. The Clinton bumper stickers offend me, should they be banned?

Answer: No.

“Either of these social media interactions, and either of these laws, could be presented to others as a way to be caring and inclusive and socially just. Either of them could be considered a way to help an oppressed segment of the population.

And either of them would be equally oppressive to a different segment of the population.”

Keep that last line in mind. She is right.   We don’t need laws to protect us from being offended.  We need laws that permit us to be offended.  We need to see the other side.  And, any law that we set up to “protect us” can, and will, be used against us.

“Any government powerful enough to give the people all that they want is also powerful enough to take from the people all that they have.”

Personal responsibility: Be responsible for your own thoughts and feelings.  If something someone says that offends you, it is your problem, not theirs.   Quit trying to force your views, your fears, on everyone else.

Don’t like guns? That’s your deal; don’t buy one.  Don’t try to shoot one.  Just stay away from them.  Don’t tell me that I cannot have a gun. If I happen to be someone who carries, and it makes you uncomfortable, talk to me.  Maybe we can reach a compromise.  But don’t tell me it should be illegal for me to own and/or carry.

Don’t like religion? That’s your deal.  I’m rather quiet about my faith, so we shouldn’t have a problem. But:  Don’t disparage my faith (or any other for that matter) Don’t tell me I have to hide it.  Don’t tell me that you have the right to be free from religion.


Be an adult: accept responsibility for your thoughts, words and deeds. And I’ll try to accept responsibility for mine.

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