Religious homophobia divides families
Last night 180 people attended the Wellington premiere of "For the Bible Tells Me So" at St Andrew's on the Terrace Presbyterian Church. Attendees were a mix of church-goers and members of Wellington's gay community, including some who will be attending the Presbyterian General Assembly which begins tomorrow. In 2006, the church excluded from leadership gay and lesbian people and people in de facto relationships.
The documentary was well received with many in the audience visibly moved by the stories of five Christian families and their gay and lesbian children. It also addressed the issues of biblical misinterpretation that are at the base of much discrimination against gay and lesbian people.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion on the impact of religious homophobia in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Mark Henrickson, senior lecturer in Social Work at Massey University shared the results of research on the place of religion and spirituality in the lives of gay and lesbian New Zealanders.
Commenting on the declining numbers of Christians in New Zealand, Dr Henrickson said, "Proportionately, almost 2.4 times as many lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians have left Christianity as have the general population.
"If Christian religious traditions want to keep lesbians, gays and bisexuals out of their communities, then what they are doing is working. If through negative messages they want lesbian, gays, and bisexuals to change their identities or Œlifestyles', that is not happening, because most appear more likely to abandon their religious traditions than their identities," he said.
He also noted the negative correlation between religious involvement and family acceptance of GLB children. Respondents who identified as ŒNo Religion' reported significantly more support from their families than current Christians. Families with ŒNo Religion' were also significantly more likely to include a partner in family gatherings than current Christians.
The other panellists were Elizabeth Kerekere, takataapui activist of Out There! Queer Youth Development Project; and Fraser Paterson, Presbyterian Minister and his daughter Robyn Paterson, New Zealand Film Maker. Each told powerful and moving stories of encountering and triumphing over religious discrimination.
St Andrew's minister Margaret Mayman restated the commitment of her congregation to be a place where gay and lesbian people do not have to choose between spirituality and sexuality, where they can be part of a faith community as they seek to live the tension between identity and religious tradition creatively.
"We will continue to be a place of welcome and healing for those who have been hurt, and we will continue to work for change and for justice in the churches," Dr Mayman said.
BACKGROUND NOTE In 2002, the Presbyterian Church commissioned research company AC Nielsen to interview couples with young children who were open to western spirituality but who did not attend church. They were questioned about their attitudes to the church. The research indicated that one of the most off-putting aspects of church for these young families was judgemental attitudes held by the churches, particularly lack of acceptance of divorce, de-facto relationships, and homosexuality.
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order t...
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