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Path: ncsuvm!ncsuvx!mephisto!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu! usc!jarthur!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov!decwrl!shlump.nac.dec.com!engage.enet.dec.com!csc32!morgan From: morgan@csc32.dec.com (Mike Morgan in Colorado Springs) Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc Subject: Comments on Clergy Abuse article... Message-ID: <1522@engage.enet.dec.com> Date: 23 Feb 90 18:11:31 GMT Sender: news@engage.enet.dec.com Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation Lines: 71 Today's religion and psychology are inseparably linked. This is especially true of contemporary Christianity. As seen in the Clergy and Laity Abuse topic here the cost of ignoring one's deepest needs far exceeds the benefit of ignoring or repressing that need. Yet that is just what Pauline Christianity demands the follower do. Paul preached celibacy with marriage a second best option to stop the 'burning'. Jesus said to be 'perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect', that there are eunuchs for heaven's sake; for a married man to look upon a woman with lust in his heart was the same as adultery. Both men come from a time when pregnancy could mean the death of a fetus and/or mother; not to mention the medical and mental problems of untreatable venereal disease. Both men transmitted to their followers an impossible task. And still after 2000 year the Sisyphean task of repressing deep inner needs drives many a Christian to desperate states of mind and body. Why? Today's psychology can tell us why and what the costs are of such behavior. In the following quote from Willam Glasser M.D., co-originator of REALITY THERAPY with Dr. G.L. Harrington, there are a few terms which need defining. ERROR is desire for or the pain of not experiencing what is (sometimes desperately) needed or wanted. REDIRECTION is doing some behavior taken from a _mental_storehouse_ of previously successful behaviors. REORGANIZATION is doing _random_ behaviors that may or may not be a viable solution to the (sometimes great) pain or desire which pushed us past redirection. "Self-control or self-discipline, as most of us believe in it, is a myth. It cannot exist, because if we cannot reduce the error [desire or pain], the error signal will cause us to reorganize [behave randomly]. Few authors understood this as well as Somerset Maugham, who, in the story RAIN, depicts the married but passion-starved missionary, Rev. Davidson, desperately attempting to control his own sexual frustrations through zealous religious redirection. Until he was aroused by the prostitute Sadie Thompson, praying and proselytizing kept the conflict under tenuous control, but his unexpected passion for her, which he frantically tried to repress, made him desperate. He redirected [known successful behavior] with prayer for hours on end to maintain the behavior of repressing, to try to keep unconscious the desire for her that was causing him to lose control. His efforts to convert her seemed to be succeeding when suddenly his self-control broke and he succumbed to her sexually. When this happened his conflict was so severe he reorganized [random behaviors] by killing himself. What Maugham knew is that we cannot stop the system. One can pray, condemn, damn, or entreat, but repressing will eventually fail and we will either redirect or reorganize. It may be that when we talk of self-control, self-discipline, or repressing in the sense of completely stopping our behavior system what we are really talking about is suicide, murder, psychosis, or serious illness, desperate reorganizations that destroy one or the other or both sides of the conflict." STATIONS OF THE MIND, page 141, William Glasser M.D. In the Clergy and Laity Abuse files we see the fruit of such repression. These were normal, innocent folks until the schizophrenic teachings of their role models drove them into reorganization. Even as these people bear the responsibility of their crimes, their role models--Jesus and St. Paul--have contributed heavily to their crimes. These mental and emotional problems show up first in the most fervent and zealous, then trickles down into the lesser dedicated followers. Fundamentalists are more likely to explode than liberal Christians. When schizophrenic Gods give Sisyphean tasks to mortals it's time to change the game or maybe just forget the game entirely. -Message-Text-Follows- *** As always I speak for myself. ***

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