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Has someone else’s strong religious belief ever had a major effect on your life?

I used to be a registered nurse. I had a very young patient of whom I was quite fond. She needed a blood transfusion to save her life, but she was a Jehovah’s Witness, and those are forbidden in her religion. She passed away under my care.

I am no longer a nurse.

IndySent 7 Dec 26

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11 comments

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Damn right is has. Just look at our judicial system and government posts that are filled with people who swear on the bible and have been sworn to uphold the laws of their holy book before the laws of the land. These are the ones who want to turn our democracy into a theocracy - a christian one, to force all others out and fuel our unrelenting wars based on religious belief - "this land is mine because god said so"

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Absolutely! I live in a small town and once it was know I was an atheist, then I ended up with only a few friends and had some depression and anxiety issues for quite a few years.

Thank you dear. I appreciate the reply. I have gotten over since and people have started to warm up to me because they have seen that I am a caring and helpful human being.
I loved Europe when I visited. So many pleasant people who don't care about individual views as much as people do here. It has been my favorite trip I have taken so far.
Where would you be moving to when you get back to the states?

The friends you do make, will be authentic and stick around. I rather have one single good friend than 50 phonies.

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Yes. My late husband sustained a traumatic brain injury and as a result, was having hallucinations and delusions. This was before doctors knew much about TBI's that could also be the catalyst for mental disorders. My partner was given "biblical counseling" by his uncle who was also a pastor and told he was being oppressed possibly possessed by demons. Within a few hours, my partner committed suicide. He was 29.

@IndySent I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Sadly it's far too common. When Southern Baptist research organization LifeWay Research conducted a survey in 2013 of evangelical Christians, 48 percent of self-identified evangelical, born-again, or fundamentalist Christians said they believe that mental disorders could be treated with prayer.

In the study Demon or Disorder: A Survey of Attitudes Toward Mental Illness in the Christian Church Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D. (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University), noted:

"Analysis of the data by gender found that women were significantly more likely than men to have their mental illness dismissed by the church and/or be told not to take psychiatric medication."

In his study Stanford found that negative interactions included abandonment by the church, equating mental illness with the work of demons, and suggesting that the mental disorder was the result of personal sin.

It goes without saying that religious superstition is deadly.

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Two people come to mind. One, a buddhist, is quite simply one of the kindest, most accepting and open minded people that I know. Also, a beloved mentor, with a huge heart and razor sharp wit, is atheist. I had to rejuggle some loosely held preconceptions about other religions or the absence of one after meeting those two wonderful people.

Zster Level 8 Dec 26, 2017
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No.

1

How different is suicide from it?

2

A lot of my school friends are dead through suicide (I live in an area of the uk that has incredibly high rates of suicide among young people), attending their funerals was heart breaking however even worse have been the religious families. I have watched as my old school friends mothers and fathers have been told their sons/daughters are in hell for killing themselves. one of my friends was gay and religious hatred led to his suicide, These things have led to the outspoken activist that I have become.

Dav87 Level 6 Dec 26, 2017

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss, sadly you are right, all too common. I have no experience of the "pray the gay away" camps as in the uk these things are usually dealt with by the church on a more one to one basis. I've heard stories of the goings on at such places, the corruption of such wonderful minds. Don't ever watch any of Ray Comforts movies (known as Ray the gay away) unless you want to HATE the churches teachings on this subject even further.

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Wow. That has to be harsh to watch.

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I had a friend. His name was Ed Lopiccolo. He was a fun guy, never without laughter. He wasn't seen in school for several weeks prior to finals and graduation. I saw him a few years after. His face was ashen and empty. Ed's voice was robotic. He apologized...APOLOGIZED...for who he was...and that he was a changed man. Somehow, in the last weeks of high school, the fundies turned his brain to tapioca pudding. That showed me how fragile we are.

That sounds horrible!

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not a single person no, but a whole population yes. I grew up in SLC. I wasn’t Mormon and working around Mormons whilst I was growing up put a kink in my style.

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Wow...growing up agnostic in a fundamentalist theist home and community I went through several changes, largely when it was best to just play along, but none so severely profound as your experience.

I hate that the experience made you leave your career but I can completely understand why it did.

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