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Why are people compelled to write about their religious beliefs in the specific cancer forums?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

This has been an issue for the 5+ years I have been a member of this site. It's been going on long before that and I am not the only person who finds this to be an issue worth discussing. While there are not very many people who speak out publicly (I have colon cancer and usually post there - or here) when I do make a comment about why are there quotes from the Bible in the colon cancer forum and I get "beaten up" by the Christians, I get many emails from people who thank me for speaking up. Many Christians even thank me. They also feel that it is inappropriate to post scripture in the section that is dealing with specific cancer types.

The purpose of the forums, as I understand the Terms & Conditions, is to help others by talking about treatment and side effects and how to deal with them. Also by giving first hand experiences of what one might expect while having colon surgery or whatever the case may be. It was not created to be a soapbox or pulpit for political or religious views. We all may have cancer (or be a caregiver) but we all are not Christians, or Jews, or Hindus, or Muslims, or Democrats, or Republicans, and the list can go on...

Possibly the reason that people are "so touchy about God" is that:
1-they may have a different God than the one you have.
2-they may not believe in God at all.
3-they may feel that it's not the proper forum for the discussion.
4-they just want to talk about cancer issues.

I can't help but think that if on the colon cancer forum, quotes from the Koran were posted on a regular basis that people who post there would be OK with that. I think we'd see more flags than there are at the United Nations. I do not mean to single Muslims out but there is a lot of backlash against them for 9/11 which they, as a religious group, had nothing at all to do with it. It's akin to blaming all Catholics for child molestation because of the actions of some priests, or all Christians to blame for the actions of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombing.

If Muslims, Christian, Jews, or whatever faith wishes to post in the religion forum and follow the T&C, then we all have a forum to post things that may help us get through the cancer but are not offensive to others. This is a place that many people use and guidelines need to be followed. It really is that simple. If this were a Christian Cancer Site then I'd suspect there would be different guidelines and scripture would be welcome everywhere.

While there is the argument "if you don't like it don't read it" there is also one that says "if you post it where it belongs it's not an issue anymore". Of course there is the well wishes that people often give like "I'm praying for you" or "Please pray for me". I do not find that offensive at all nor do I think many others do. It's a common saying that is received many ways. Sort of like say "Hi, how are you?".

While many of my posts are not publicly received well, I feel this is an issue that needs to be looked at once again. This has little to do with God and more to do with Religion(s). There are hundreds of faiths. If we lived in a society where we all thought alike it wouldn't matter, but we don't.

Just wondering why people who violate the T&C of the site and get booted off still continue to reincarnate themselves and start it all over again.
Bobby...

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

Welcome to CSN, I agree with some of what you are saying. I post stuff about religion and some time refer to a scripture or so if I see a person is religious and needing help both physical and spiritual . What I believe Phil is talking about is where on some of the forum boards instead of giving help some Christians go overboard, all they are doing is posting nothing but scripture. As a Christian I need the prayers of all my friends and I need to know that they care about me and at night ask God in my behalf for healing. But just posting a bunch of scriptures with no meaning kind of takes away from the work that other Christians are trying to do. As Christians we are not to be a stumbling block to others whether they are or are not of faith, we must respect everyone, but at the same time we must not be ashamed or afraid of what we believe.

I hope you understand where I am coming from
Thanks
Hondo

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Got through all the comments on this thread. Now I will throw in my two cents worth. I think that anyone who assures anyone that if they do or believe x or y that their cancer will go away, is out of line on this board. I don't care whether it is religious in nature or an alternative therapy or diet or exercise or having a "good attitude" or whatever.

I have been distressed by several of these types of posts but so far none of them have been about religion. I usually keep my opinions to myself but a couple of times when I have responded, I am not met with much understanding--especially concerning the alternative therapy/diet topics.

In my opinion those kinds of dogmatic declarations most of the time only add stress to people who are already struggling with a serious illness. None of those things have been proven to be true and one can find myriads of examples of people getting sick who did x or y perfectly.

As far as someone telling me if I don't believe a certain way, that I am going to hell, only matters if I believe in hell. If I don't believe in hell, then I should be able to just laugh and say, "Whatever"! In other words agnostics and atheists should care less about those kinds of statements but often are the ones that get most incensed. Funny since they don't even believe! And I can say that as someone who used to be an atheist. It makes no sense.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(David Bowie reference)

By the semantics I use (and those used by a number of philosophers and theologians, laurettas, there is quite a difference betwee agnostics and atheists. Atheists ARE believers: they believe that there is no deity. Agnostics are unknowers, and there is, to me, quite a difference betweeen the two. In fact, I argue that atheists are paradoxes and even hypocritical, since to KNOW that there is no god is to presume a knowledge of all that there is in this universe (or any other) and therefore makes one omniscient, a rather god-like property, I would say.

I would suggest that while atheists are aggressive (as you suggest) in their vehement defiance of religion of any kind, you are apt to find that agnostics, since they don't know, are likely to be a bit more passive of the belief of others, even if they do not like those beliefs shoved down their gullets.

Your suggestion that not believing in hell means that you can't go there is, at best, extremely weak. Just as it is absurd for someone to deny the existence of god because one has not experienced this entity, it is absurd to believe that if one refuses to believe in the existence of hell it will not exist. That is like closing my eyes and wishing away the existence of cancer: I can 'not' believe all I want but it makes it no less an existence in the world, in the universe, for that matter, cancer, that is.\

I agree with most of what you say, particularly with regard to dogma of any kind, and probably with all of what your intent was, but didn't think it would be honest to let those points I consider illogical to get by.

For what it's worth.

Take care,

Joe

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Hi Joe,
What I meant was that if you don't believe in something, it is rather silly to get upset if someone tells you that you will experience it. Why be upset about something that doesn't exist? That is what I meant, not that the individual won't go there but that they shouldn't be upset if someone tells them they will go there. Kind of like being scared if someone tells you the boogieman will get you if you don't believe that the boogieman exists. Does that make more sense?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(James Whitcomb Riley reference)

Yes :). We have too little time to be sweating the small stuff.

Take care,

Joe

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I sometimes wonder if things that I can’t see are really there. Like “Gravity” if I throw something into the air it always comes back down. “Wind” is another thing, I fly my kite and it stays up in the air and sores high above looking down on me, what is holding it up there. I can also feel the wind blowing against my face but can’t see wheaten it is coming or going.

I was told that there all are fixed Laws that govern these types of thing in our world, so I went back outside and could not see any of these Laws holding any of these things in place.

Is not Faith and belief the same thing? It does not matter if a person chooses to recognize whether something is there or not or to have faith or not to have faith. I know what, and I know why I believe, and why I have Faith. I am glad that right now this great county has Laws to stop people from forcing there views upon others, just hope it can stay that way.

Hondo

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Faith and belief ARE the same thing. But they are not knowledge. In defense of the scientific method, which requires that proof result from the ability to repeat an action or effect over and over given the same circumstances (to put it simply), it also recognizes that its tenets can be modified by further study, continued experimentation, sometimes dramatically.

Faith does not have this insistence. Nor does it have the tolerance for such.

But you know that.

Take care,

Joe

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I made this post in response to a former member who wrote on the colon cancer forum something to the effect of Why do those who don't believe in God feel compelled to comment in posts. I just threw the question back to them (him) but I posted it in the religion forum since it distracts from people trying to deal with the medical aspects of cancer in the forum that was designated as the Colon Cancer Forum.

There are as many ideas on a Supreme Being as there are ideas on what causes cancer and the result is the same. No one really knows the answer to either question. To take it a step further, maybe there is more than one way to believe in a Supreme Being just like there is more than one way to deal with cancer. We've all been around long enough to have seen that what cured one person did not cure another person and visa-versa.

As often is the case, some people run with the idea of following the Terms and Conditions of a website as it being Censorship. I can't help that they don't understand what T&C means. One can talk until they are blue in the face and they will still say the same thing.

There was a comment in a post by Mechelle (in the latest reincarnation of this topic) that quotes me as saying "In your own words, 'The purpose of the forums, as I understand the Terms & Conditions, is to help others by talking about treatment and side effects and how to deal with them'".

Don't neglect Mechelle that I ALSO said "Of course there is the well wishes that people often give like 'I'm praying for you' or 'Please pray for me'. I do not find that offensive at all nor do I think many others do. It's a common saying that is received many ways."

I agree that one's faith can be an enormous help to them with their illness. I'm very glad that people find solace in their belief. There is a difference between that and telling others they deserve HELL if they don't accept XY&Z or posting scripture in the section that is dealing with specific cancer types. It's also inconsiderate and polarizing to those who do not share the same beliefs. I don't have to read it, they don't have to post it.

I suppose that in the T&C they could have a policy that reads something like "Anyone can post whatever they want. It's the responsibility of the reader to take a guess if they will find the post objectionable (without being able to preview it first). If they DO find it objectionable...sorry."

Most members wouldn't post a highly technical medical question in a forum about faith, why would one take it for granted that they could do what is basically the opposite?

I may decide to delete this entire thread (because I CAN) since it just goes in circles. My original point was made in the early days of the post. We're beating a dead horse's you-know-what at this point.

Here's to whatever everyone believes, even if they only believe in themselves!
-phil

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Beatles reference)

Phil,

I say no harm, no foul, with this post and its contents. If you delete it you are also deleting the time and effort others put into it when they decided it was important enough, or interesting enough, to respond to. I found some of the dialogue to be quite interesting, in fact, and cause for pondering in a few cases, while, on the other hand, I can't recall finding any of it heavily offensive.

Take care,

Joe

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

Joe, it lets me play God...
Instilling fear has its place
;-)
I won't delete it but it was posted initially to show how ridiculous the original comments that drew me to make this post were (IMO)
-phil
Let the backlash begin!!!

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I like the post as it is a way for me to hear what others have to say and maybe even learn something. Sometimes there might be one or two who want to augury but I find that is all part of everyday life. If a person believes in God and someone don’t they should at the lease respect each other belief.

Take care
Hondo

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1828
Joined: Oct 2011

I wrote about my beliefs in the colon cancer forum since that is my type of cancer not realizing there was this forum. Although I am a devout Christian I do not belong to or attend any church. I removed my comments from the colon cancer forum out of respect for everyone. I feel everyone has a rite to his/her own beliefs and should not push them on others or criticize others for thier beliefs. THat is the problem with all religions. That is why I stepped away from the Church. I have no right to judge or preach about my beliefs because that sould make me a hippocrit since I am only human and not perfect so I do not judge others nor should anyone else. To each his/her own.

Jeff

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Well, Jeff, just so you know, I was beginning to think that I was hallucinating or something! I distinctly remembered commenting on a thread on the colon cancer forum, went back later and could not find it anywhere. With all that has been going on, I could see myself thinking that I had done something that hadn't really happened but I was so sure that I had written something! So, glad to know that you removed it and I wasn't going crazy!

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
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Religion is not the problem. It is the people who interpret, the way in which they practice, manipulate and use it, driven by their own egos.

I think that is why you stepped away from the Church not because of the religion, ie Christianity itself.

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1828
Joined: Oct 2011

You are so right. My faith has never been stronger. It is the people and thier egos. It seems to be true with most religions to the best of my knowledge. I feel completely at peace being a Christian with out attending church.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

for moving it Jeff.

For future reference, there is a way to move an entire thread from one forum to another. Doing that preserves the conversation and no one feels like their comment was singled out for deletion.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
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* double post

Hondo's picture
Hondo
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Joined: Apr 2009

You are correct a person doesn’t have to go to church to be a Christian, as church doesn’t make anyone a Christians, What makes a person a Christian is being Christ like. I go to church so that I can be with other people who are Christ like, but that does not mean that the Devil does go to church as well. I find no matter where in life I go to Church, work or play or even the internet you will always find someone who acts like a devil. So at lease in Church I have a better chance of finding others who are Christ like.

Wishing you the best
Hondo

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

Amen to that!

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

I guess I would have to say, that depends. If by Christ-like you mean a nice person, I would have to say that, no, that does not necessarily make a person a Christian. There are atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who are nice people but they would all be offended if you called them Christians.

A Christian is someone who accepts who Christ says he is, worships him as God and tries to do what he says. Their behavior is not necessarily an indicator of their depth of faith. Some people are just naturally nice or nice for the wrong reasons(so people will like them, etc) and may have very little faith. Another person may have a very obnoxious personality but be sincerely trying to amend his life and has a deep faith in God. That is why WE can't judge others--only God can see hearts.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
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You are correct in saying, that it is not our place to judge others however we can choose who we want to be around based on their actions and/or their words. I have found that people who might appear to be 'obnoxious and have a deep faith and/or are genuinely doing some the internal work' do have a sincerity that very quickly becomes apparent.

I do think Hondo might have meant that 'people who geniunely are attempting to follow the teachings of Christ and are making progress' in his 'Christ-like' statement rather than people who are 'nice'. I could wrong, but that is how I took it to mean.

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

You are probably right as to Hondo's intent. However, I have heard many people say that they are good Christian people and then find out that they don't believe in God. So I know the term Christian is misunderstood a lot.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
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Joined: Jun 2010

who seek vengeance, condemn the poor, throw the first stone, and seem, in general to prefer the old testament to the new.

So I would agree, the term Christian is often misunderstood.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

As is the term 'Muslim' in fact for many it is synonymous with 'Terrorist'. Sadly that is what most see however this behaviour is so far from teachings of the prophet Muhammed (pbuh).

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

speak much louder than their words. I'm agnostic but was raised Catholic just for a little background. I had to question what I was taught once I learned at an early age that not everyone believed the same thing. Everyone can't be right (or maybe in the end it's whatever you believed in life). Often, not always, people will try to convince everyone they are right and therein lies a big problem especially when it's come down to wars and killing which really dates back to the beginning of beliefs...

When I talk about Christians and being Christlike, the two often do not go hand in hand. I believe that many people who follow their faith lead good, caring, and helpful lives. Then there is the other group who gets a lot of press coverage who call themselves Christians but they seldom act Christlike. I wonder at times that if some of the more outspoken Fundementalists were to meet Christ, not knowing who he was but just seeing Christ as he appeared in his day, they'd mistake him for being a bum or part of the Liberal Left. I know I'm on dangerous turf here mixing in politics too. I think some of them think of Christ as being this white, very conservative person. He didn't care much for the wealthy materialistic people of the day. I have absolutely nothing to back this up with, but since we're talking about The Son of God, it's already something that is more based on belief than on facts.

Whether we follow Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed, Vishnu, or None of Thee Above I believe that if you treat others as we wish to be treated you can't go wrong. The only way we can judge is to decide if we want certain people in our lives or not. If someone does not believe in God, then they would likely care little about God's judgement.

I strongly feel people should be able to believe whatever they want to believe as long as they do no harm to others. It's when one group tries to force another group to believe something that the problems arise. Unfortunately I do to see this ever being resolved as long as people insist they are right and can not accept that there could be another answer...

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

with much of what you say, Phil. I think a lot of people would not recognize and reject Christ if he walked among us today. We tend to make God in our image for some reason so it makes knowing him difficult at times. Christ was a contradiction in the world in which he came for 33 years and he is no less a contradiction in the world today--even in so-called Christian countries. Which is a shame and shows how little we truly are following him.

I agree that not everyone can be right. But is there NO truth? I mean either God exists or he doesn't; there is either one God, multiple gods or no god; Christ is the Son of God or he isn't; Christ either established a Church to exist through eternity or he didn't. One of the options in each thing I mentioned is true, the others are not.

The problem with saying that everyone's beliefs are all perfectly fine is that if one's perception of God is distorted, it is going to affect how they live their lives because believers try to pattern themselves after the God they believe in. And that is going to hurt the person and those who he relates to in a distorted way.

Another thing it does is confuse those who are seeking. That is the situation with many in my family. They have been exposed to so many who espouse "Christianity" and disagree with one another on their beliefs that many in my family have rejected the idea of a god at all. They can't comprehend a schizophrenic god so they don't go there. Christianity cannot flourish in the world until we all come to the same understanding of who Christ is and present a coherent and unified explanation of this God in whom we believe.

I am too black and white and scientific minded to blithely accept everyone's position as being right. Especially on something as important as this that affects so much. I don't think you should ever force your beliefs on anyone but if you love them, you are obliged to share that belief with them and help them to come to know the love that you experience from this God.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I think, is that we are trying to understand something that is WAY beyond what we can understand.

It's like cancer in a way. No one knows why we get it or how to cure it. No one knows if there is a God or not either. I may believe there is and I may believe chemo got me through cancer so far, but I could be wrong. There is no way of telling for certain and as humans, we tend to want certainty much of the time. That is where faith comes in...

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

Christ Like

To find out what Christ like is all you need to do is to read the Bible on Christ Life. His disciples were first call Christian in Antioch why because they were just like him always doing good to someone else always helping people when in need. Jesus also kept his Father commandments, they were to Love the lord with all your heart and the second was to Love all people, no matter who they are or what they believe.

People go to Church to try to be Christian, but Church doesn’t make any one Christian. The same as going to Church will not save anyone, the only thing that will save anyone it to except Jesus as there savior and do what he say. If you LOVE Me keep my Commandments, there is nothing else to do to be Christ Like in my book but to follow in his foot steps, to me that is being Christ Like.

Phil: I like your statement “people should be able to believe whatever they want to believe as long as they do no harm to others” I have a hard time when people try to force religion or anything else on other people. I also don’t like when religious leaders try to use fear as a way to get members into Church, You are going to HELL if you don’t come to Church. Don’t get me wrong the Bible does teach that we get strength from each other and it is good to come together to worship God, but it will not save anyone.

I am not perfect and don’t clam to be, but I try to live as close as I can to my understanding of what being a Christian “Christ Like” is.

Hondo

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

God is much more than we can understand. However, I don't think that we can't know that God exists. The fact that we are here, to me, is proof of God's existence.

I think it is still a fact of science that it takes matter and energy for anything to come into being. That to me says that there must be something or someone outside of our existence because there has to be a source for that original matter and energy. It could not make itself.

Now the nature of that God is a little more difficult to pin down but I think we can learn a lot about that from nature if we take the time to ponder it. And if you look at man throughout history, you can see that belief in something other than us seems to be hardwired into us. The majority of cultures have beliefs in some kind of God and have for millenia.

I believe that wide-spread atheism is a modern phenomena and probably due to the fact that we have so removed ourselves from nature in our every day lives. And look at what atheism has done. In the 20th century alone atheistic regimes have killed more than at any time in history. Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung. Hundreds of millions of people dead in one century. Some estimate each was responsible for 30-50 million deaths. I know that the common thing is to say that religions cause so many wars and deaths but if you look at the reality, many "religious" wars and deaths were actually more political than religious and the numbers are usually quite exaggerated from the truth.

Anyhow, lots to ponder and discuss!

qi
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2013

It's not that I find the religious  issues offensive, it's that I don't find them helpful. Any sort of platitude or repetition of "sayings" cannot give me the information I seek. I'm very new to this site but on another site where I have posted infrequently in the past few months, I read the dialogue and become frustrated. And I need no more stress in my life, just like the others here. I, too, wish that there could be a division of religion and science. The little greetings or endings to a conversation are alright with me, too. It's all the other stuff that doesn't seem appropriate on a site sponsored by an organization such as this. But, I also realize.....freedom of speech applies.

 

Thank you for expressing your thoughts in this forum. I read your post at just the right ime.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

 

Welcome to CSN and thanks for posting, I hope you will stick around and join in on the many different threads.

 

Wishing you a great New Year

Hondo

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