Thank you again for another good informative program. Joanna is a lovely intelligent young woman, seeking to balance her own personal evolution in feminism and faith with the structure and rules of a very strong and patriarchal religion. Not an easy task. I honor her honesty in sharing her life and beliefs. Part of what came through for me, however, 'between the lines', was the nervousness and unease in her voice as she tried to rationalize and justify issues she still struggles with, and the freedom and growth she will have to give up, to accept these beliefs...to 'obey'...which is so integral in her religion, as in so many. It is a high, and a hard, price to pay, but it is what one must agree to do for the reward of 'family', belonging, and the promise of an ongoing and "everlasting life".It was too high a price for me to pay. I do understand, though, that it offers a safety and security that those of us who can no longer accept the beliefs and dictates of an organization must leave behind.It is a sweet feeling to 'belong' - not something easily given up. A choice we each must make in our own heart.
What I was left with in the end, though, is the sadness I always feel when presented with beliefs that are so structured, so insular. By their very nature, as they are inclusive and caring of "their own", they are exclusive of everyone else, and all other beliefs. The rules that are given to make you feel "closer to God", or "chosen", by their nature encourage you to also feel special, better than those who do not believe the same, sending you on "missions" to convince all others of the "real truth". I believe she even used the phrase to "...take over the rest of the world."More walls. More divisions. More separation. So much to still release before we realize that there is no "One Way", that we are all only one family.
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